Early voting is already underway in Harris County for a massive $2.5 billion bond proposal to fix the region's flooding problems.
County Judge Ed Emmett calls it the most important local election of his lifetime. A kickoff party for Proposition A is planned at T.C. Jester Park Thursday morning.
“County government functions entirely on property tax, the only way we can put the attention on flood control the way we have to is through a bond, and that's what this bond election is all about,” he says.
The money would improve drainage, upgrade warning systems, home buyouts and construction of more detention basins.
“We had 23 public engagement meetings in all the watersheds in Harris County so that people could come out and see what the proposed projects were and then they could suggest projects, and we added almost 40 projects based on what the public told us,” says Emmett.
Some of the revenue would be used to leverage federal grants to kickstart the most pressing projects.
“Seven hundred to $900 million of our local dollars will be used to draw down federal dollars, so the total spend will be closer to $5 billion as opposed to $2.5 billion,” he says.
If approved, the bond would raise the average homeowner's property tax bill by $5 per year over the next 10 to 15 years.