Early voting has begun on 2.5 Billion Bond Election
By Allan Jamail
Jacinto City – On Thursday, July 26, 2018, City Manager Lon Squyres presented to City Council the flood prevention project he’s been promoting for the city with the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) should the 2.5 billion Bond Election pass.
By implementing the HCFCD list of proposed projects for Hunting Bayou upstream of Jacinto City Squyres said it stands to reason that if those improvements are made it will cause an increase of water to flow downstream more than ever before, causing even more flooding in Jacinto City. Flood control projects are required by law to show zero negative impact to upstream or downstream areas.
Squyres said, “I suggested that we look at the downstream area of Hunting Bayou for potential projects. I walked the banks of Hunting Bayou and I saw troubled areas that do not move flood water effectively. In particular, as the bayou reaches the southern border of Jacinto City, it takes an eastern turn then flows just south of Pyburn Elementary. From that point it winds and snakes back and forth making about a dozen changes in direction. At one point, the bayou forms an oxbow causing a complete reversal of the direction of the water flow. The area containing this snaking of the bayou is heavily wooded, there have never been any bayou channel improvements to my knowledge, and it’s not part of any regular maintenance program like most other bayous in Harris County. Because of this, flood debris tends to pile up in the area, farther restricting the flow of storm water. I proposed the possibility of a new diversion canal to be cut in order to allow the flow of both Turkey Run Gulley and Hunting Bayou to bypass the troubled area which would improve drainage for the Jacinto City area. The bayou’s original path would remain in place to allow areas on the bayou’s East side to drain.”
The United States Army Corps of Engineers has announced funding for four projects: Brays Bayou, Clear Creek, Hunting Bayou and White Oak Bayou. All four projects have significant local funding match requirements. If the bonds are approved, these projects could start immediately.
Harris county homeowners over 65 in homes under $200,000 wouldn’t pay any more in taxes for these bonds. The average homeowner of a $200,000 home would see about a $5 annual increase to the property taxes they pay to HCFCD beginning in 2020. In 2035 the owner of a $200,000 home—or $166,000 after exemptions—would pay about $50 more in property taxes.
Early voting began this week on August 8th through August 21st; Election Day is Saturday, August 25th. Early voting and Election Day voting times and locations can be found on the harrisvotes.com website.
To see the entire proposed flood prevention projects go to the HCFCD website, www.hcfcd.org/ bond-program.