Harris County voters to vote on multi-billion dollar bond referendum 1 year after Hurricane Harvey

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Harris County voters to vote on multi-billion dollar bond referendum 1 year after Hurricane Harvey

A year after Hurricane Harvey devastated our region, will Harris County voters get out and support a multi-billion dollar bond referendum?

Supporters of the proposed $2.5 billion referendum hope the answer is yes, as the first day of early voting gets underway.

"The $2.5 billion in bonds are going to magnify the federal dollars and state dollars that are available once we as a community buy into trying to solve our flooding problem," said Ed Wolff, a realtor whose Meyerland home was flooded during Harvey.

Wolff and his wife decided to stay put, and spent more than $200,000 to raise their 1950s home. They, like many neighbors who are rebuilding after Harvey, hope the Brays Bayou watershed projects will finally finish with the passage of the bond.

"These are directed funds," said Wolff, who has a few pro-bond signs dotting his front yard. "They're for flood control and flood control only. They're going to affect all 23 watersheds."

Data provided by the Harris County Flood Control District say the proposed bond project would increase the average homeowner's property tax bill by $5 per year over the next 10 to 15 years. For the majority of seniors, there would be no increase.

A full list of the massive proposal was just released by the district a few days ago, and can be found at www.HCFCD.org.

"When I saw what they're going to do and how they're going to spend the money, I decided that yes, this is something I can support," said Manuel Barrera, who was among a steady stream of early voters once the polls opened.

Barrera is the president of the Braeburn Glen Civic Club, where many homes flooded during Harvey. Another civic club president, Phil Kunetka, also voted for the proposal.

"I don't like taxes and I don't like the government spending too much money, but this is infrastructure that simply must be done," said Kunetka, who lives in Maplewood. "Once they're voted in, I intend to with whatever power I have on the county to watch it like a hawk to make sure it's spent right, and efficiently in the right places."

Although there is not a well-organized opposition to the bond proposal, supporters worry about the election being in the dead of summer, and the complex details involved in the massive referendum could derail the passage.

In addition, several elected officials, including State Senator Paul Bettencourt, have voiced opposition to the timing of the election, though not the actual bond.

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Related Topics:
politicshurricane harveyvotingvote 2018bondsfloodinghouston floodHouston
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