During an Aug. 3 meeting, Houston City Council approved an additional $290,448 out of its Dedicated Drainage And Street Renewal Capital Fund for an ongoing capital improvement plan, or CIP, project in District C’s Cottage Grove East neighborhood.

According to an Aug. 2 ordinance, $276,618 will be given to contract services, while $13,830 will be given to CIP cost recovery. The improvements will take place in an area bound by White Oak Bayou to the north, the I-10 frontage road to the south, Shepherd Drive to the east and T. C. Jester Boulevard to the west.

The scope of the CIP project is to improve storm drainage, concrete paving, underground utilities, sidewalks, curbs and driveways. The council approved the original contract in August 2018 of just over $2 million to the engineering firm CivilTech Engineering. Engineers are about 90% through the design phase, according to the Aug. 2 ordinance.

During the Aug. 3 meeting, District C Council Member Abbie Kamin said the neighborhood is an “overdeveloped hell.”

“It’s the perfect example of what happens when we don’t have a check on responsible development,” Kamin said during the meeting.

The affected area has no sidewalks, an issue with homes flooding and streets that are so narrow first responders and school buses often go off into ditches, Kamin said.

Although the CIP project will make strides for Cottage Grove East, Kamin said more still needs to be done to ensure Cottage Grove West gets an investment that is “desperately needed.” She said she wants to bring attention to the challenges the neighborhood faces, but that at this point, the amount of work for improvements is too large and expensive to be put on the CIP.

During a District C redistricting town hall meeting that took place May 3, over 20 residents spoke from Cottage Grove West about the issues the area is facing. Speakers cited issues, such as narrow roads, a need for drainage improvements, downed power lines causing power outages, crumbling infrastructures and unsafe conditions.

“As crucial as [the Cottage Grove East] project is, we need some solutions in Cottage Grove West,” Kamin said. “They’re in trouble.”