Friendswood City Council on Dec. 7 established a list of priorities of the results it and city staff want to see legislators work on in the upcoming session.
One priority for the city is the pursuit of federal and state funding for resiliency projects related to drainage, flood control, evacuation routes and transportation. Examples of such projects include the proposed coastal barrier in Galveston Bay, flood mitigation efforts along Clear Creek and work on Friendswood Parkway.
Friendswood is in the midst of several local drainage projects funded mostly by grant money. A few weeks ago, the city applied for a $78 million grant for a large flood-mitigation project along Clear Creek that would benefit thousands of city residents and residents downstream.
A second priority for the city is for the session to promote local control as it pertains to adopting building and exterior-facade requirements. Under a law passed in the 2019 Texas legislative session, cities are required to adopt the standard national code for residential and commercial buildings, which allows buildings to be constructed from a wide variety of materials and limits cities’ ability to enforce stricter standards related to building materials.
Another priority is for the Legislature to promote an amendment to the tax code as it pertains to street maintenance sales and use tax terms by extending four-year renewal terms to eight or more years.
Finally, Friendswood’s final priority is to oppose bills in support of the inclusion of debt service growth in calculating the voter-approval tax rate. Tax-backed debt issuances already require voter approval, according to a Friendswood memo.
The 87th legislative session begins Jan. 12.