Funding for the Lake Houston Spillway Dam Improvement Project has reached a “critical point,” according to a May 17 newsletter from Kyle Sheldon, the president and CEO of Partnership Lake Houston.

The background: Since 2017, the city of Houston, Harris County, and state and federal officials have been working to address the shortcomings of the Lake Houston spillway dam that were highlighted during Hurricane Harvey. As previously reported by Community Impact, these efforts include a roughly $200 million design for improvements to the dam that would add an additional 11 gates to the existing four-gate structure, which was built in 1953.

By the numbers: According to Sheldon's letter, the city of Houston has:
  • spent nearly $4.38 million on design for the Lake Houston Spillway Dam Improvement Project
  • secured an additional $48 million from the federal government as well as $30 million in local funds
The entities are turning to the state to provide the final $150 million needed for the final design and construction of the new gates.

Bills to watch: According to Sheldon, this funding is included in the Texas Legislature’s general appropriations bill, Senate Bill 1 Article 11. As of press time May 18, the bill had been filed but had not yet left the Senate Committee on Finance, according to the Texas Legislature Online.

Quote of note: “We need your help making sure they know the community wants and supports this project to add flood gates to Lake Houston,” Sheldon wrote in the newsletter.

Get involved: Sheldon urged Lake Houston-area residents to call the offices of the following elected officials to advocate for the passage of SB 1 Article 11:
  • Gov. Greg Abbott: 512-463-2000
  • Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick: 512-463-0001
  • Sen. Brandon Creighton: 512-463-0104
  • Chair of Houston Appropriations Rep. Greg Bonnen: 512-463-0729
The 88th Texas Legislature will conclude May 29.