By Lewis Spearman
NORTH SHORE, Texas – Last Thursday, Rotary Club of North Shore welcomed Country Commissioner Jack Morman as guest speaker at their noon luncheon. Comm. Morman talked to the Rotarians about the proposed bond to deal with flooding issues.
A $2.5 billion dollar bond is proposed by the Commissioner’s Court and this meeting was to help convince locals that there is a need in the Jackson Bayou vicinity, that is to get some flood control measures and addressed the down stream of the San Jacinto River Watershed.
The bond election is to be held August 25 – the one year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey’s landfall. Early voting is to begin August 8th. It is to address Harris County’s most prevalent natural disaster. The total need in the county for flood risk reduction is about $25 billion, and the $2.5 billion of this bond will provide matching funds to enable the H.C. Flood Control District to leverage the federal Harvey-related disaster funding that is on its way to Harris County. The cost to taxpayers would be spread over 10 to 15 years for an estimated 2-3 cents per $100 valuation. An over-65 or disabled exemption and a home worth $200,000 or less would not pay any additional taxes.
Morman said, “In addition to the local Watersheds, this is an interconnective system. The water flow upstream will impact in a positive way those folks that flood downstream. This is the most important election in my lifetime, it will be the most we can do to combat flooding for generations to come.”
At a recent Flood Control District public meeting in Crosby, Harris County Engineer John Blount spoke to the dozen or so locals that showed to talk of projects underway, explain to this reporter why the dredging of the west fork of the San Jacinto River is back under review and the expected contract award withdrawn.
Commissioner Morman added to those comments, “It doesn’t matter where rain falls in Harris County, just because there isn’t a project with the name of their neighborhood, the bond benefits those downstream. We still need input from everyone that lives here to benefit all neighborhoods. A large part of the bond is to be met with federal dollars and of course you have to meet the federal standards to receive federal dollars. The feds use a cost benefit analysis ratio and it has to meet a certain ratio to get those federal dollars. There are a lot of projects in Precinct 2 that don’t meet those criteria, so we will be using a big chunk of the bond on Precinct 2 projects to benefit our low income families, our middle income families and our richer families. This is a project designed to benefit everyone. I say again, this is going to be one of the most important elections in the history of Harris County, in my opinion. And probably the most important in my life. So we need to get the word out.”