The Costello Connection


Council Member Costello to oppose use of ReBuild Houston funds for Council Member Service District Service Project Program


Council Member Stephen Costello will strongly oppose all Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) amendments allowing the use of ReBuild Houston Program funds for the proposed Council Member District Service Project Program.  Amendments to the CIP will be considered at the Wednesday, July 8, 2014, meeting of the Houston City Council.


In voicing his opposition to the amendments, Council Member Costello issued the following statement:


"Voters supported the ReBuild Houston program because they recognized the overwhelming need to improve our city's aging infrastructure.  At the time of debate and passage, the Mayor and City Council promised that supported projects would be prioritized based on unbiased data, not politics. Unfortunately, today's proposed amendments retreat from those promises. As a result, I will be voting "no" and will be asking that the mayor and my fellow city council members join me in opposition.


In the course of today's debate, I will argue that ReBuild Houston funds are not designed for use by individual council members for projects of their own selection. That was never how voters perceived this program and I believe that the city has an obligation to keep the promises made."




Voters passed Proposition One in November of 2010 in order to create a pay-as-you-go "lockbox" fund for street and drainage repairs and improvements. Since its inception, this program, now known as ReBuild Houston, is responsible for reducing the city's overall debt by over $130 million, yielding an additional $42 million for capital projects, with another $33 million expected this year.  Further, the program contributes over $100 million annually to drainage improvements. 


In the past, the city identified need based on a largely reactive, subjective, and often very political process.  Conversely, ReBuild Houston incorporates advances in technology to assess infrastructure condition and uses a data-driven process to determine project need.  This does not preclude council members from having input into the process.  In fact, since the program began, the CIP Process Manual for Infrastructure Programs has been revised to allow for greater council member input.   


More information on ReBuild Houston can be found at, including the CIP process manual here.

Council Member Stephen C. Costello
900 Bagby, 1st Floor | 832.393.3014
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