Harris County Flood Control District director outlines projects ahead of Aug. 25 flood bond election

Representing the Harris County Flood Control District, Matthew Zeve was one of several speakers at a flood seminar in Spring Aug. 15.

Representing the Harris County Flood Control District, Matthew Zeve was one of several speakers at a flood seminar in Spring Aug. 15.

On Aug. 25, Harris County voters will approve or reject a $2.5 billion bond referendum to help finance Harris County Flood Control District projects for flood prevention.

“If the bond passes, we’re looking at going from a $60 million [capital improvements projects] model to a $500 million CIP model,” HCFCD Director of Operations Matt Zeve said at a flooding issues seminar Aug. 15 at John Wesley United Methodist Church in Spring.

The HCFCD currently allocates the other half of its annual $120 million budget for operations and maintenance, he said. If voters approve the bond, the department will also triple its maintenance activities.

“We have a three-year backlog of maintenance we need to do across the county,” Zeve said.

Under the expanded budget, HCFCD would need to add more positions and modify its organizational structure, he said. The department is working in concert with Harris County Engineering Department, which would be involved in several of the HCFCD projects, to identify what positions are needed.

“On Aug. 28—we are assuming the bond passes—we will have a call for new positions to be created,” Zeve said.

The majority of work would be handled by private consultants, he added.

At the panel session, Zeve also addressed citizen concerns over the bond projects, including the lack of details on how they will be implemented. The general descriptions, he said, are key to accommodating unforeseen changes in the future.

“What if we have to buy a bunch of land, and the people that own the land don’t want to sell it? What if we have to get an environmental permit, and then five years after we get the environmental permit, the conditions of the watershed change?” he asked. “We have to be general to give us that flexibility because no one [knows] what those conditions will be like.”

Citizens have also voiced their discontent with what appears to be a lack of progress by the HCFCD, he said.

“I’ve heard a lot of people say the flood control district doesn’t do anything for me,” he said. “A lot of our projects are back in the bayous and creeks where a lot of people don’t go and they don’t see us. But I can assure you, we spend millions of dollars on Cypress Creek Watershed every year.”

The seminar also included speakers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Congress District 2 candidates, grassroots organizations and experts in flooding and meteorology.

For more information on the bond referendum, see our guide.
SHARE THIS STORY
By Eva Vigh

Eva Vigh joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2018 as a reporter for Spring and Klein. Prior to this position, she covered upstream oil and gas news for a drilling contractors' association.

<

MOST RECENT

Christina West has worked for Chipotle for the past six years. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)
League City resident stars in national Chipotle ad campaign

A 15-second clip of Christina West preparing guacamole is featured in Chipotle's "Behind the Foil" campaign.

Lower Clear Creek and Dickinson Bayou Watershed Study open house, Walter Hall Park
Lower Clear Creek and Dickinson Bayou Watershed Study underway with first open house

Bay Area residents hoping to see some large-scale flood mitigation projects saw another step toward solutions Feb. 26.

Houston Spaceport, Houston Spaceport rendering, Houston Spaceport stock
Houston City Council grants spaceport development extra $3.75 million

Due to an unforeseen electrical power distribution cost and the need for the creation of a sign, an extra $3.75 million will fund the development of the Houston Spaceport after the Houston City Council’s vote Feb. 26.

(Courtesy city of League City)
League City City Council raises water rates

After the League City City Council’s unanimous vote Feb. 25, water and wastewater rates will rise steadily over the next four years, though commercial businesses will see greater increases than residents.

Harris County commissioners voted 3-2 at a Feb. 25 meeting to begin a search process to replace Chief Budget Officer Bill Jackson (far right). (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County commissioners vote to replace budget director

Dissenting commissioners said they were caught off-guard by the move.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo proposed establishing an immigrant legal defense fund for county residents at the Feb. 25 commissioners court meeting. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Harris County looks to establish immigrant legal defense fund

Hidalgo said this program would “inject a measure of fairness into our justice system” for individuals and families who do not have access to legal services.

Steven Ebell (left) discussed the allocation of resources for English language arts and dual-language students with the Clear Creek ISD board of trustees at its regular meeting on Feb. 24. (Colleen Ferguson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Clear Creek ISD approves allocation of $2 million in resources for language arts, ESL classrooms

The funding will help provide resources for a variety of English language arts and dual language students.

Adebisi Bashorun started University of Houston-Clear Lake's African Student Association in 2019. (Courtesy of University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Clear Lake resident starts University of Houston-Clear Lake’s first African Student Association

Universty of Houston-Clear Lake officials said the emerging student organization’s goals align with the college’s efforts to connect African students to new educational opportunities.

Early voting is underway in Harris County for the March 2020 primary elections. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)
Voter turnout starts strong in Harris County primary elections

The early voting period runs through Feb. 28.

Tracy "TK" Keele, Tracy Keele, Clear Lake Shores police chief, CLS police chief
Clear Lake Shores hires interim police chief as permanent chief

Clear Lake Shores City Council appointed interim Chief Tracy "TK" Keele to the permanent position Feb. 18.

Houston's first chief transportation officer will help the city coordinate its urban planning efforts with other agencies such as the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, the Houston-Galveston Area Council and the Texas Department of Transportation. (Courtesy Visit Houston)
Shifting focus from car culture, Houston hires first chief transportation planner

Houston's first chief transportation officer will help the city shift its focus from car-centric urban planning.

(Courtesy city of League City)
League City City Council to consider new water, sewer rates Feb. 25

League City residents will soon see a hike in water and sewer rates after the League City City Council discusses and votes on the issue Feb. 25.

Back to top