Flood-related bond referendum scheduled 1 year after Harvey

- How much time has passed since Hurricane Harvey struck southeast Texas? Eight months perhaps? For seven of those months, Richard Young has been living in a camper in his driveway. Does he believe flooding issues can be solved?

"Sure, anything can be fixed -- it just takes money," says Young. "But are they going to have enough money and are they going to do the right things? Who knows?"

Good questions and questions that no one can really answer right now. However, Harris County Commissioners Court just took a step towards addressing those questions. It agreed to conduct a bond referendum vote on Aug. 25, exactly one year after Hurricane Harvey devastated the county.

"This is our chance to tell the area and the whole world, 'Hey, we are serious about resilience. We're serious about flood control and mitigation,'" says Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. He also says the commissioners have a $30 billion project wish list. They might ask for $2.5 billion in bonds. With federal and state matching funds, they could secure as much as $10 billion. Questions remain about where and how to spend it.

"Federal money is somewhat biased towards wealthier communities," says Jim Blackburn, an environmental lawyer with Bayou City Initiative. "We've got to make sure this money is spent equitably around the county."

Again, that assumes the voters go for it. If they do, would that be good news for people like Young? Maybe, maybe not.

"We're not staying," adds Young. "Yep. Going to sell the house. Regardless of what they do. Yep. It doesn't matter."

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