Emerald Forest Utility District calls for bond referendum, increase in tax rate cap

Residents in a handful of subdivisions serviced by the Emerald Forest Utility District have the chance to vote on two propositions this election cycle. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Residents in a handful of subdivisions serviced by the Emerald Forest Utility District have the chance to vote on two propositions this election cycle. (Courtesy Fotolia)

Residents in a handful of subdivisions serviced by the Emerald Forest Utility District have the chance to vote on two propositions this election cycle. (Courtesy Fotolia)

Residents in a handful of subdivisions serviced by the Emerald Forest Utility District have the chance to vote on two propositions this election cycle, including a $40 million bond referendum for water, sewer and drainage infrastructure and a request by the district to raise the cap on its operation and maintenance tax.

Although Election Day is May 1, the early voting process has been underway since April 19 and runs through April 27.

The district's operation and maintenance tax rate is currently capped at $0.25 per $100 of valuation, and the ballot item—listed as Proposition B—would raise it to $0.50 per $100 of valuation, according to information on the district's website. However, in a press release, district officials said there are no plans to raise the tax rate, which sits at $0.655 per $100 of valuation after the debt service tax rate is factored in.

"At this time, with all the information on hand, given the plan outlined in the bond election report, the board of directors for the district do not anticipate a total tax rate increase as a result of bond issuance for the foreseeable future," according to an April 23 statement from the district.

The $40 million bond referendum, listed as Proposition A, will help address needs over the next 10-15 years, officials said, including the maintenance, replacement and upgrading of aging infrastructure. Projects identified by the district engineer include replacing some water distribution lines, replacing water meters, rehabilitating the sanitary sewer system and two water wells, and expanding a wastewater treatment plant.


The district covers roughly 748.2 acres and services 1,862 residences around FM 1960 between Jones, Mills and Gessner roads. The district operates and maintains two water plants, one wastewater treatment plant and one sanitary sewer lift station.

About $9.1 million of the $40 million bond would also be used to provide services to 223 acres of land within the district that is under development. However, officials said those costs would eventually be reimbursed by developers, which prevents the tax burden from falling on residents already living in the district.

According to district information, the most recent bond referendum was in 2001 and was for $21 million. About $8.6 million of that bond remains to be authorized.

No members of the board of directors are up for election this year. Terms for three of the five directors expire in May 2022, and terms for the other two directs expire in 2024.

More information can be found on the Emerald Forest Utility District website.
By Shawn Arrajj
Shawn Arrajj serves as the editor of the Cy-Fair edition of Community Impact Newspaper where he covers the Cy-Fair and Jersey Village communities. He mainly writes about development, transportation and issues in Harris County.


MOST RECENT

Taste of Cajun opened in Cypress in 2018. (Courtesy Taste of Cajun)
Taste of Cajun closes its doors on Barker Cypress Road

Owners announced they did not renew the restaurant's lease and have no plans to relocate at this time.

The Kinder Institute for Urban Research released its 2021 State of Housing for Harris County and Houston report on June 22. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
Kinder Institute 2021 State of Housing report highlights rental squeeze for lower, middle-income households

As of 2019, one in every 11 renters in Harris County had an eviction notice posted to their door; one in every 25 renter households were also evicted.

The craft beer industry is growing in the Greater Houston area. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Greater Houston area's craft brewery count grows 344% since 2013

According to NAI Partners, the Greater Houston area has 71 craft breweries.

The Barker Reservoir watershed encompasses the area that drains into Barker Reservoir. This reservoir, together with Addicks Reservoir, was created as part of a federal project to control flooding on Buffalo Bayou and protect downtown Houston. (Courtesy Harris County Flood Control District)
FEMA awards $9.8M to Harris County Flood Control District to restore Barker Reservoir watershed

The funding is aimed at restoring water channels, including Mason Creek and Upper Buffalo Bayou, to pre-Hurricane Harvey levels of conveyance by removing sand and sediment buildup caused by the storm, officials said.

Jersey Village City Council approved new homestead exemptions for qualifying residents at their June 21 meeting. (Courtesy Pexels)
Jersey Village City Council increases disabled, over-65 homestead exemptions

The exemptions for disabled and over-65 homeowners were raised to $200,000 and $100,000, respectively.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced a special legislative session will begin July 8. (Trent Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Gov. Greg Abbott announces special legislative session to start July 8

Agenda items will be announced before the session begins, according to a release from the governor's office.

Employees in Cy-Fair ISD will receive an estimated 3% pay increase for the 2021-22 school year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Cy-Fair ISD proposes employee pay raises in FY 2021-22 budget

Payroll costs ultimately amount to about 89% of the district's proposed $1.06 billion budget.

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion announces 3 new concerts for 2021 season

Tickets for all three shows will go on sale to the public June 25.

Domino's Pizza opened in June at The Shops at Rock Creek. (Courtesy Domino's Pizza)
3 new businesses opening at The Shops at Rock Creek in Cypress

Three new businesses have moved into the Grant Road shopping center.

Louetta Road extension project to continue through March

The joint project is estimated to cost $8.8 million between Harris County Precincts 3 and 4.

Med Shop Plus is located on FM 1960. (Courtesy Med Shop Plus)
Med Shop Plus relocates, celebrates grand reopening in Cy-Fair

The business offers medical supplies, scrubs and professional medical attire.