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Harris County sets election over $2.5 billion bond to fund flood protection projects after Harvey

Voters will weigh in on the bond proposal on Aug. 25, the one-year anniversary of when Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas.

A flooded neighborhood near the Buffalo Bayou and the Barker Reservoir dam on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017.

A $2.5 billion bond proposal that would fund flood protection projects in the Houston area will go to Harris County voters on Aug. 25, the one-year anniversary of when Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas.

The Harris County Commissioners Court unanimously approved placing the proposal on the ballot Tuesday. If passed, the bond would fund projects like “drainage improvements, upgraded warning systems, infrastructure repairs, home buyouts, and construction of more detention basins” in the state's most populous county, according to a news release from the office of Harris County Judge Ed Emmett.

“We must take steps now to make our county more resilient,” said Emmett, a Republican. “We all saw the way that Texas helped Texans during the Memorial Day floods of 2015, the Tax Day floods of 2016 and Hurricane Harvey last year. Now is our chance to work together to protect each other proactively.”

The county estimates that most homeowners can expect a property tax increase of no more than 1.4 percent if the bond proposal is passed.

The Harris County Flood Control District cites more than 150 potential projects that could be funded by the bond and will host 23 community engagement meetings — one in each county watershed — to present projects and receive public input.   

The Army Corps of Engineers also announced Tuesday the allocation of more than $509 million to fund multiple flood mitigation and coastal projects in the state, according to a release from Gov. Greg Abbott. This is in addition to the approximately $360 million in disaster relief funds the Corps announced in May.

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