The progress report comes as Harris County Commissioners Court approved an update of the Bond Program, providing clarification and revisions that do not substantially change the original Bond Program goals or objectives. The Flood Control District is currently working to complete a total of 474 active engineering and planning projects arising from the $2.5 billion Bond Program, with more than $373 million in current spending authorizations. Eight bond projects are complete.
The update of the Project List is intended to combine related and similar projects for project management efficiency; revise cost estimates to reflect more detailed engineering and partnership funding changes; and correct minor errors and omissions. Four new projects are added, but no projects have been removed from the list.
“With Hurricane Season around the corner, we know the public is interested in tracking the progress on the 2018 Bond Program,” said Russ Poppe, Harris County Flood Control District Executive Director. “Our intent in updating the Bond Project List is to be transparent about our work and include more detailed information as it is available. We intend to build every project originally included on the Bond Project List. Going forward, we will update this list semi-annually,” he continued.
The revisions change the official number of projects on the Bond Project List from 237 to 181. The majority of the changes involve combining twenty (20) individual watershed storm repair projects into one project. Seventeen (17) individual watershed projects to buy and clear flood-prone properties and sixteen (16) watershed subdivision drainage projects are being similarly combined for efficiency of project management.
In addition, Bond Project List funding estimates have been adjusted as a result of project progression producing more defined estimates, and changes in partnership funding either secured, partially secured, or denied. The list now states the bond funding available for the project, and estimates any other additional local capital funding and anticipated partnership funding that would be required to complete the project. The original Bond Program included projects for which estimated local funding totaled $3.12 billion, more than the $2.5 billion in bonds approved by voters. The updated list shows how the $2.5 billion in bonds will be applied, and clarifies that more than $168 million in additional estimated local funding will be needed to complete the projects.
Partnership funding remains an important component for successful completion of the Bond Program.
- The updated list takes into account the fact that the 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act included 100 percent federal funding ($357 million) for federal projects in the Brays Bayou, Hunting Bayou, White Oak Bayou and Clear Creek watersheds.
- A countywide total of approximately $678 million in partnership funds have been secured so far for all bond projects. Combined with $257 million in local funds, this amounts to $935 million in projects countywide.
- The Flood Control District continues to seek partnership funding opportunities with area municipalities, utility districts and other federal, state and local groups.
New projects include:
- Bond ID F-122, a Bond Implementation Manager project for Halls Bayou watershed, reflecting a new Flood Control District approach to completing all projects in the watershed as quickly and efficiently as possible, in less than 10 years. This new project is funded by way of a pro-rata reallocation of local funds from projects in the watershed that the BIM will manage, including from bond funding allocated for the Halls Bayou Federal Project, which was not approved by the federal government to move forward.
- Bond ID F-123, a similar Bond Implementation Manager project for the Cedar Bayou watershed.
- Bond ID Z-11, which funds community engagement efforts, as promised and included in the ballot language for the 2018 HCFCD Bond Program.
- Bond ID F-124, an effort to investigate drainage deficiencies, flooding problems and evaluate potential solutions to reduce the risk of flooding in the Carpenters Bayou watershed for more than 550 structures in the Atlas 14 1 percent (100-year) floodplain.
In addition to the storm repair, buyout and subdivision drainage project consolidations, several other related projects have been combined for improved project management. To view the updated Bond Project List and additional information,
ABOUT THE HARRIS COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL DISTRICT
The Harris County Flood Control District provides flood damage reduction projects that work, with appropriate regard for community and natural values. With more than 1,500 bayous and creeks totaling approximately 2,500 miles in length, the Flood Control District accomplishes its mission by devising flood damage reduction plans, implementing the plans and maintaining the infrastructure. To learn more about the Flood Control District, visit www.hcfcd.org.
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