City, county working to resolve Reliant Park drainage fee issue

February 14, 2012 10:26:14 AM PST
The city of Houston and Harris County may be close to resolving their spat over a drainage fee for Reliant Park.

Negotiation with the city will continue despite a move by Harris Co. commissioner Steve Radack to hold that particular item that was on Tuesday morning's agenda. Harris County and the city of Houston have been at odds over whether the county should pay the city drainage fee imposed on Reliant Park.

Reliant Park is county property, but the city charged the facility a $353,000 drainage fee. The county never anticipated that as a government entity it would have to pay a fee on public property.

The county plans to fight the fee during the next legislative session using the sales tax at Reliant as the way to do it.

"I strongly believe that they needed a constitutional amendment to do that instead of just a slight change in the legislation," Radack said at commissioners court. "If y'all don't agree with that, I think we need to ask the attorney general for an opinion."

Harris Co. Judge Ed Emmett says taxpayers are already paying taxes to Harris County and the fact that the county has to then turn around and pay the city of Houston doesn't really make sense to him.

Mayor Annise Parker says a deal is in the works to have the Harris County Flood Control District provide drainage services instead.