Houston - The Texas General Land Office (GLO) announced Friday that the City of Houston and Harris County won’t receive any of the roughly $1 billion allocated for flood mitigation projects statewide.
"That’s unfathomable," said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. "You can’t justify that. Explain that to the people who flooded in the past and the people who still worry when they see a lot of rain falling."
The GLO used a points system to determine which Texas towns would receive the federal funds. According to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the system’s formula included property value. Judge Hidalgo believes this factor favors rural areas.
"The criteria used to distribute these funds is unfair to Harris County," said Hidalgo. "Harris County residents deserve that. Especially if it’s named Hurricane Harvey Mitigation Dollars".
Baytown, Jacinto City, Pasadena, and Galena Park were approved for the funds. Combined, they’re receiving about $100 million.
"The average project that won had 11,000 beneficiaries," said Hidalgo. "Ours had hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries on average."
Hidalgo is calling for an audit to reevaluate the points system used by the GLO. Local leaders wrote a letter to the Federal Government asking for assistance on the GLO’s decision.
"Hopefully they will reverse course quickly, and send a proportional amount of that $4.2 billion to Houston and Harris County," said Turner.