The West Houston Association, an economic development group on the city’s west side, recently announced the release of what it describes as a “comprehensive regional flood control plan.”
The $32 billion plan reportedly calls for restoration of the Addicks and Barker reservoirs, as well as the construction of a third reservoir on Cypress Creek; it also includes infrastructure improvements to increase the city’s capacity to handle storm waters in addition to buyouts of homes on flood-prone property.
It specifically calls for the federal government to pay 90 percent of the costs, with the remaining 10 percent coming from state and local funding sources; per the proposal, local funds would come from a $2.2 billion bond to be covered by a property tax increase.
The group said it is working on getting the bond measure placed on the May 2018 ballot.
According to Augustus Campbell, president and CEO of the WHA, the property tax increase would be manageable for most homeowners:
“What it means to the average home owner is about $8 a month, or $100 a year. A small increase that would be just dedicated to flood control,” Campbell said in an interview with a local TV station.
The initiative reportedly comes in response to the intentional flooding of many west Houston neighborhoods during Hurricane Harvey, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decided to release the waters in the Addicks and Barker reservoirs to relieve pressure on the dams.
Opening the flood gates totaled thousands of homes on the city’s west side along Buffalo Bayou.
The WHA plan is one among many proposals being floating around by state and local officials.
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said he would approve of a $1 billion bond to remedy the flooding problems, but did not comment in detail about the WHA proposal.
Where do we go from here, y’all?