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Possible vote on anniversary of Hurricane Harvey could help pay for flood control in Harris County

HOUSTON – On August 25, the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey which dumped 19 trillion gallons of water on Texas, Harris County voters could go to the polls to vote on a bond package to pay for flood control projects.

The money would come from property taxes.  

How much money could this bond package bring in?

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett said the numbers are not final, but he said it could be for a bond package of $2.5 billion. He said that would help bring in an estimated $7 billion from the federal government.  

How much money could this cost each homeowner?

Judge Emmett said no one knows the exact cost per homeowner.

"You're not talking about a huge amount. We've got a lot of homeowners. But the issue depends on how we grow," Judge Emmett said.

Where would the money go?

The bond money would pay to continue existing projects underway on Brays, White Oak and Hunting Bayous as well as on Clear Creek. Judge Emmett said a third reservoir could also be included.  

"August 25 would give us enough time to develop a list. And I think we'll have to work on logistics on how we gain public input to make sure we have the right list of projects, especially as it relates to our local projects," said Harris County Flood Control Executive Director Russ Poppe. 

What is the next step?

The county commissioners will send a letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott asking for approval for the Aug. 25 bond election date.

After it’s approved, the commissioners would formally put the vote on the calendar.