The West Houston Association spent the afternoon of March 7th, at our annual City Issues Forum. Our membership gathered at the Houston Marriott at Westchase and was joined by the City of Houston Mayor, Sylvester Turner, to hear him discuss the passage of the City of Houston – Rebuild Houston/Build Houston Forward plan, the current legislative session and how some bills may effect the city, and much more.
The mayor began his speech touching on the 3 years of consecutive flooding we recently experienced here in the Houston area. “Infrastructure”, he said, “is critically important, especially if we want the areas to continue to develop as they will.” He continued by thanking former Judge Ed Emmett, the Association, and the voters for their assistance on the passage of the counties $2.5 billion bond election. The passage of this along with the City of Houston – Rebuild Houston or Build Houston Forward plan show that residents of the region are placing importance on the mitigation of flooding. With these contributions from the city and the county, the third step to recovery dollars is receiving $1.1 billion from the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD).
“The fourth piece, of course, is the State.” Said Mayor Turner when discussing Senate bill 7 with the audience. Senate bill 7 would provide $1.65 billion from the Economic Stabilization Fund or Rainy Day Fund to go toward the new Texas Infrastructure Resiliency Fund, or TIRF. The city is asking that the legislature provide the necessary dollars to equal the 25% local match for the 75%-25% projects eligible through Hazard Mitigation Grant Funding. This TIRF would aide projects not just in Harris County but all of the impacted areas. The city not only asks these funds be provided but for an advance so projects can be started now, and the money could get paid back once the federal dollars hit.
The West Houston Association is always honored to host Mayor Turner at our City Issues Forum and appreciate him taking the time to speak to our membership. Thank you to our members and sponsors who always help us put on a great event.
Be sure to join us on April 10th, for a celebration of Johnson Development’s Larry Johnson for an Impact Award!