On October 25, 2022, the three Democrats on Harris County Commissioners Court approved the expenditure of another $15 million from the Flood Resilience Trust. All the money will be spent to avoid delays on flood mitigation projects in Precincts 1 and 2.
This follows an approval on June 28 to spend $85 million on 16 projects. Two thirds of the benefit for those also went to Precincts 1 and 2.
Where the Money Went
Of the four flood-mitigation projects approved for trust funding in October, three were in the Halls Bayou Watershed and one was in Sims.
In June, commissioners approved 16 other projects:
- One in the Armand Bayou watershed
- One in Brays
- Two in White Oak
- Three in Halls
- Four in Greens
- Four in Cypress and Little Cypress Creeks
- One in Buffalo Bayou
Of the 16 projects, 14 benefited Precincts 1 and 2, but only 7 benefited Precincts 3 or 4. The totals for “projects” and “areas benefited” do not equal because sometimes benefits cross precinct boundaries.
Looking at both groups of expenditures, 20 benefited Precincts 1 and 2, while only 7 benefited Precincts 3 or 4. So about one quarter of the flood mitigation benefit has gone to the Republican-leaning half of the county.
Purpose of the Trust
The Flood Resilience Trust Fund was originally conceived to facilitate:
- Acceptance of a grant that requires a local match exceeding secured local funds
- Awarding construction projects that exceed the amount of secured funds
- A change in contract for a construction project underway that exceeds the amount of secured funds
In all of the most recent cases, the expenditures avoided delays for projects already underway. In each, partnership funds did not materialize as expected. See below.
The $100 million dollars in Trust Fund expenditures approved to date leaves a balance of only $28 million in the fund. So…
To see the full report on June projects, click here.
For the full October report, click here.
Fix This Discrimination
Polls are open from 7 A.M. to 7 P.M. Monday through Friday this week for early voting. Election Day is on November 8. It’s a long ballot. Make sure you vote all the way to the end, because several key races/proposals are hidden in the middle of all the judicial races. For instance, the race between Lina Hidalgo and Alexandra Mealer for County Judge comes after family court judges on the ballot.
All registered voters in Harris County may vote for County Judge. A heavy turnout in this area could swing the election. It’s close. As of this morning, however, fewer than 10,000 people in Kingwood have voted.
Also, Precincts 2 and 4 will elect Commissioners this year. (The Lake Houston Area is now in Precinct 3 and won’t vote for commissioner until 2024.)
There are also three county bond proposals on the ballot totaling $1.2 billion being pushed by Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia. Despite promises made by the County Administrator months ago, none has a defined project yet, so if you approve the Garcia Bonds, you’re writing a blank check.
Also, the three Democrats on Commissioners Court have announced their intention to distribute the $1.2 billion unequally. The two Republican Precincts would get only $220 million each or a total of $440 million. So Republican Precincts would get 36% while Democrat Precincts would get 63%.
That echoes lopsided Flood Resilience Trust and 2018 Flood Bond spending to date. Don’t miss your chance to bring fiscal control and balance back to Commissioners Court. And some flood-mitigation benefits to the Lake Houston Area.
Posted by Bob Rehak on 10/31/22
1889 Days since Hurricane Harvey