June 13, 2018



Dear Friends and Neighbors:

As you are aware, Harris County plans to submit a $2.5 billion bond offering to an August 25, 2018, election.  If approved by voters, the bonds will be used to fund flood risk/damage reduction projects throughout the county.   Flood damage reduction projects can include modifications to our streams and bayous to increase the amount of stormwater that they can carry, the implementation of detention basins to store excess stormwater, nonstructural flood  mitigation  tools such as voluntary home buyouts, and any combination of these methods to address local and regional flooding issues.

There are several types of projects that may be supported by bond funding:

Voluntary Home Buyouts: The purchase of flood-prone structures from willing sellers in areas too deep in the floodplain to benefit from structural flood reduction projects, or in areas where flood risk reduction projects are not feasible.  This process includes the demolition of the structure and relocation of the seller to higher ground.

Storm Repair Major maintenance projects to restore the designed function and  capacity  of a  channel  or stormwater  detention basin .

Subdivision Drainage Improvement: Partnership projects with the Harris County Engineering Department and a Municipal Utility District to provide drainage improvements to subdivisions in unincorporated Harris County.

Local Projects: Flood risk reduction projects such as channel modifications or stormwater detention basin construction using only Harris County Flood Control District ("HCFCD") funds.

Partnership Projects: Flood risk reduction projects such as channel modifications or stormwater detention basin construction using a combination of HCFCD funding and funding from local, state, or federal partners such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Potential projects include: 
  • Channel modifications to improve stormwater conveyance
  • Regional stormwater detention basins
  • Major repairs to flood-damaged drainage infrastructure
  • Removing large amounts of sediment and silt from drainage channels
  • Voluntary buyouts of flood-prone properties
  • Wetland mitigation banks
  • Property acquisition for preserving the natural floodplains
  • Drainage improvements made in partnership with other cities, utility districts, or other local government agencies
  • Upgrading the Harris County Flood Warning System
Some of these projects will be funded with partnership agreements with the federal government. Bond funds would be used to provide the "local match" funding that is required for participation in these federal partnerships
When considering project ideas suggested by the community, HCFCD will prioritize projects meeting its mission to provide flood damage reduction projects that work, with appropriate regard for community and natural values. HCFCD will use the following criteria:

A project receiving the highest consideration:
  • Provides the greatest potential flood risk reduction benefits relative to the community's population
  • Causes NO increase in existing flood risks upstream or downstream
  • Offers potential for multiple benefits, in addition to flood risk reduction
  • Features long-term viability and relatively low maintenance 
  • Includes a clearly defined drainage issue and flood risk reduction benefit
  • Uses readily available, proven engineering techniques and industry standards
  • Poses NO undue burden on disadvantaged communities
  • Minimizes adverse impacts on the environment
Factors that could negatively affect project consideration:
  • High costs for mitigating unavoidable environmental impacts
  • Dependence on pumps or other mechanical devices that could fail or involve a high annual maintenance cost
  • Project targets an area already having a relatively high level of drainage service
  • Located outside Harris County, with the exception of projects already approved (e.g., Clear Creek)
Those interested in providing public input to HCFCD should attend a meeting relating to their watershed and/or provide comments online.  Officials with HCFCD  are scheduling  public meetings  in each of the county's 23 watersheds to describe some of the projects the county is proposing and to solicit input from residents regarding which projects should be included.   All 23 community engagement meetings are (or will soon be) described  [here].

District G residents will no doubt be interested in the meetings regarding Buffalo Bayou, Barker Reservoir, Addicks Reservoir and perhaps Cypress Creek.

Here is an  Interactive Map showing each project currently being considered by HCFCD. Click on any project symbol to see detailed information about the project or to submit comments on that specific project.  You can also download a PDF document listing all of these projects  [here].
You may also mail your comments to HCFCD at 9900 Northwest Freeway, Houston, Texas 77092, ATTN: Bond Program Communications.

On June 12, Harris County Commissioners Court  unanimously approved placing the $2.5 billion flood risk reduction bond issue on the August 25, 2018, ballot. If approved by voters, issuance of bonds would be spread over 10-15 years, and the expected HCFCD tax increase for most homeowners would be limited to 1.4% or less.
For more information, please contact HCFCD Bond Program Hotline at 713-684-4107. 

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Greg Travis
Houston City Council Member, District G
900 Bagby, 1st Floor
Houston, TX 77002
P.O. Box 1562
Houston, TX 77251-1562
Phone: 832-393-3007
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