Mayor Turner joined WHA’s members for lunch on April 2nd, just days before the proposed changes to the Chapter 19 Floodplain Ordinance went to council and passed.
In order for the Houston Region to avoid the reputation of being a city that always floods but does nothing, Mayor Turner emphasized that flood control is a joint concern for the whole region. Just because someone did not flood this time does not guarantee that they won’t flood next time, so we all need to work together to build a more resilient city. Mayor Turner reported that $5B of federal funding has been allocated to our region with $1.2B going to the city, $1.2B going to the county and the rest dispersed among surrounding areas. The posing question is how to appropriate the funding in order to take care of the infrastructure needs when the full $89B (most recent federal funds to be spent between California, Texas, Florida & Puerto Rico) could have been spent in our region alone. The Mayor advised collectively going to D.C. to say that the first allocation of funds was a good start but additional funding will be required to provide Houston with the necessary flood protection. The Mayor reported that he is asking City Council to take the first step this week by approving the Chapter 19 Floodplain Ordinance changes and will then focus on Chapter 9, development outside of the floodplain. Mayor Turner told our group that doing nothing is not an option.
The Mayor also addressed the need for efficient transportation to accommodate the 30M people projected to move to Houston by 2040 and the need for an increase in the amount of police officers protecting Houston. Many of this regions public officials attended our event to hear the Mayor speak including:
Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert
Fort Bend County Commissioner Grady Prestage
State Representative Jim Murphy
City of Katy Mayor Chuck Brawner
City of Sugar Land Mayor Joe Zimmerman
Fulshear Council Members:
City of Missouri City Manager Anthony Snipes
Ron Servis from Judge Emmett’s Office
TxDOT District Engineer Quincy Allen
Waller County Engineer Yancy Scott
North Harris County Regional Water Authority Representatives
West Harris County Regional Water Authority Representatives
WHA was honored to hear from Mayor Sylvester Turner and hopes to collaborate with the city to provide Houston with the infrastructure necessary to be prepared for future hurricane seasons. To view highlights and video of the Mayor Turner’s remarks click the YouTube link below and keep an eye out for a new revamped Events Recap section, coming soon.