State Rep. Sam Harless, R-Spring, filed House Bill 5334 on March 30, according to the Texas Legislature’s website. If approved in the ongoing 88th legislative session, the bill would create a board of five temporary directors and require an election to be held before Sept. 1, 2027.
The election would select five permanent directors and confirm the creation of the district. To hold an election for a permanent board, the temporary directors must get the approval of each municipal utility district falling within the district’s boundaries.
As previously reported by Community Impact, the Cypress Creek Flooding Task Force initially proposed the creation of a drainage improvement district in May to help mitigate flooding in the Cypress Creek watershed.
The watershed—which largely covers unincorporated communities such as Spring, Klein and Cypress—has a history of flooding. During Hurricane Harvey in 2017, 9,450 homes flooded within the watershed, according to the Harris County Flood Control District.
According to HB 5334, the drainage improvement district’s boundaries would run the area of the Cypress Creek watershed, except for areas falling within the cities of Waller and Prairie View. The district would not have the powers of eminent domain, to impose a tax or to issue bonds.
“Our commitment to pursuing this effort has always been conditional in that the district would not have the authority to impose taxes or issue bonds,” reads an April 5 newsletter from Harless’ office.
Those named to the proposed district’s temporary board of directors are also members of the Cypress Creek Flooding Task Force: Joe Myers and Mark Adam, who serve as the president and vice president of the Cypress Creek Flood Control Coalition, respectively; Barbara Schlattman, chair of the Green Medians Project; and Calvin Cobb and Clara Lewis.
For HB 5334 to be passed in the ongoing legislative session, two-thirds approval of the House of Representatives and the Senate is needed. According to Harless’ office, the bill was sent to the Natural Resources Committee on April 4, and a hearing will soon follow. The regular 88th legislative session will end May 29.