The West Houston Association supported the charter change initiative of November 2, 2010 which charged Houston City Council with creating a dedicated fund and drainage fee to address drainage and street improvements, together the most challenging infrastructure issues facing the City of Houston.
ReBuild Houston will consist of a dedicated, pay-as-you-go fund to help maintain and improve drainage and street infrastructure and plan upgrades to meet future needs as Houston grows.
The City of Houston maintains a site, ReBuild Houston (link) for all information regarding this program including the proposed implementation plan, the Charter Amendment as voted, an implementation discussion guide and various presentations by the Public Works and Engineering Department to the City Council’s Drainage and Flood Control Committee.
Documents Related to Implementation of Rebuild Houston
Explanation of Drainage Utility Charge (External Site)
Approved Drainage Ordinance (March, 2011)
Proposed Drainage Fee Ordinance (March, 2011)
Rebuild Houston Program and Fee Outline Presented to Council Flooding & Drainage Committee (Feb, 2011)
Projected Funding Sources for Rebuild Houston Street and Drainage Program (Feb, 2011)
Calculation of Drainage Charge (Feb, 2011)
Distribution of Houston Impervious Cover (Feb, 2011)
Impact on Individual Fee Amount Under Various Exemptions (Feb, 2011)
West Houston Association Support and Rationale
Roger Hord testified in support of the Drainage Ordinance and Fee at a Houston City Council Public Hearing on 3.9.11. He sited the findings of the West Houston Plan 2050 where significant focus was on rehabilitation of infrastructure. He noted as well the Association’s requirements in support of the Ordinance: a dedicated fee; application of the fee to all properties public and private, commercial and residential; and an objective means of identifying and prioritizing projects regardless of where they be in the City.
The Association’s commitment to the Charter Amendment election creating this program was based upon these facts and principals:
- No City can sustain its vibrancy and thus attractiveness of quality of life and employment growth unless it addresses the needs of its critical infrastructure, it is the platform from which a city grows. To its already stressed drainage and street systems, Houston growth by 2040 will add over 800,000 residents to its population, an increase of 37% from today’s population. This growth will be cause the city to become more dense where drainage systems designed for the first half of the last century. Roadways too, represent a limiting factor to this growth and must be redesigned and rebuilt for more traffic, improved transit and better pedestrian access. Add to this, the property losses which occur as a result of insufficient drainage and the needs for more, dedicated financing becomes much clearer.
- A dedicated fee is essential, one that can not be diverted for other purposes.
- Application of the drainage fee on an equitable basis to all properties within the Houston city limits is essential. All properties will use the drainage system and benefit from its improvement. Including fees on new development.
- Projects selected and funded under the Rebuild Houston program must be programmed in an objective manner and prioritized on the “worst first” regardless of location in the city.