County brings ‘Listening’ Meeting to Flukinger Center

By David Taylor
North Channel Star

A dozen or so residents in the Channelview area turned out to give their thoughts on how they’d like to see tax dollars spent over the next five years at a public meeting in the Flukinger Center last week. Almost as many county officials were on hand to answer questions and listen to residents wants and needs on proposals that would improve the area.

“We are in the beginning of our five-year Consolidated Plan process,” said Walter Peacock, assistant director of planning for Harris County Community Services Department.

The plan relates to entitlement funding for the county that comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“HUD requires us to have a consolidated plan that will either be for three or five years to talk about how we will fund different national objectives that has been spelled out by the department, and what projects we’re going to do over that time,” Peacock explained.

He said over the next few weeks, they will gather information from residents across the county who will tell them what is most important to them as it relates to infrastructure, public facilities, safety, veteran services, homelessness and many more objectives.

“We will do one of these meetings in each one of the precincts and that will tell us what the community wants the most and allocate funds based on those comments,” he said.

Unfortunately, the meeting didn’t attract as many people as they hoped, but Peacock promised additional countywide meetings for those who were unable to attend.

With the opinions they gathered last week, the Community Services Department will be able to make goals and visions for public housing, water lines, infrastructure, veterans services, and other projects requested by the public.

While the meeting was primarily based on HUD requirements, Peacock said they still wanted to hear from the public about anything they wanted for their community.

“While we might not be able to help, what we could possibly do is leverage our resources with another department, another non-governmental organization, to help them meet that demand,” he said. “We don’t want to stifle anything that a community member would want to say or want to bring up related to any of the needs here.”

Entitlement fundings increase and decreases based upon a formula, which is related to how many low to moderate income people you have in your population and the total population at home. Peacock estimated their last entitlement was over $21 million but divided between the four precincts of Harris County.

The Annual Action Plan shows how the projects are divided out amongst the precincts through a request for proposal process.

David Suman, Geographic Information Systems analyst for Harris County, does a considerable amount of mapping for the county.

“We have a demographics dashboard here so if you scan the QR code, you can pull it up, and you can kind of look over what we call special geography like precincts or target areas for Harris County with general demographic information,” he said.

“This is an extremely important part of the process,” Suman explained. “This gives us context on where to use these funds and Precinct 2 includes a wide swath of the county including Channelview, Galena Park, Jacinto City, LaPorte, and as far south as Nassau Bay near Clear Lake.

Many of the funds come in the form of Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) that target low to moderate income areas, Suman said.

“One of our goals is to get more people into homes to own them,” he said, explaining they have shied away from using funds for rental or utility assistance.

Peacock said the funds are basically broken up into three different pots— community development general funds used for infrastructure, public services funds, and home funds that can be tapped for housing downpayment assistance, voucher programs, and emergency services, he said.

Funds won’t be expended until the plan has been formulated and approved by HUD.

Miss the meeting? There are several more planned over the month of August. Residents can also go online to take the survey at For comments via email, send them to