Gov. Greg Abbott pledged $250 million in state funds for a Texas-Mexico border wall and is soliciting donations to fund the rest.
Over the span of about a week, Texas received $459,000 in private donations for the state’s planned wall at the southern border, the governor’s office said Wednesday.
This comes after Gov. Greg Abbott said he would reallocate $250 million in state funds as a “down payment” for the project — while crowdfunding some of the remaining costs.
The identities of the donors and how much they donated to the wall construction are not readily available and can only be obtained through public information requests, a spokesperson for Abbott said. Eventually, Abbott’s office said, the total donations figure will be available online on a website that currently solicits people to donate.
Abbott has not given an estimate of the project’s total costs or details of how long the wall will be or where it will be located but said he expected it to be “hundreds of miles” long. He directed the Texas Facilities Commission to hire a program manager who will lead efforts to determine those factors.
The commission said in a statement Thursday it began work on creating a request for proposal for the program manager position, saying it would remain “transparent and compliant with State competitive bidding standards.”
Abbott also said he expects Texans to volunteer their land for the project and said he would send a letter to President Joe Biden asking the federal government to return land the Trump administration took from private property owners in Texas to build a border wall.
The Trump administration had met fierce resistance from private property owners unwilling to allow the federal government to build on their land. Land Commissioner George P. Bush said last week he would grant emergency authorization for the building of the wall on state lands, which makes up approximately 591,595 surface acres along the border.
By Reese Oxner for THE TEXAS TRIBUNE
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