HOUSTON (FOX 26) - $2.5 billion -- that's what's needed to improve the lives of nearly 5 million people living in Harris County. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett sat down with FOX 26 to talk about the flood control bond.
“Harvey really did change so many of our lives that it’s important, and to me is the most important local election in my lifetime," Emmett says.
It's a $2.5 billion bond, which the federal government is expected to match. This will fund local projects that will reduce the impact of flooding, Harris County’s most prevalent natural disaster. The list of projects is long. Those that are a top priority are Brays, White Oak, Hunting, and Clear Creek bayous. Emmett says
"Some of this money goes to buyouts. Some people are living in homes, where there’s no way to salvage that, they shouldn't be there," Emmett says. "So we have literally thousands of people who have put in for voluntary buy out."
Of course the tax payers want to know how much will this cost them? We're told it would be no more than a 1.4 percent property tax increase. To break this down, it would cost the average household $5 a year and gradually increase to about $55 by the 15th year.
Judge Emmett says unlike other votes, there was a lot of public input into the projects that will be funded. Since the people had a voice, he feels this bond will pass and get Harris County in the right track.
“I think the vast majority of people understand we need to prioritize flood control, mitigation, resilience and this is been a very open process and I feel good about it," Emmett says.
Early voting starts August 8 and runs through August 21. The election will be held on August 25, on the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey. You can leave comments and suggestions through an online form for your watershed, or call the Flood Control District at 713-684-4107. You can also read more on their website.