Bay Area Edition | January 2022


Updates on important issues facing local entities

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OTHER STORIES TO FOLLOW IN 2022 Harris County commissioners approve $35 million campus for youth transitioning out of foster care system Harris County commissioners at a Dec. 14 meeting unanimously approved the construction of a roughly $35 million Houston Alumni and Youth Center campus that will include a 41,000-square-foot, 50-unit residential facility for youth transitioning out of the state’s foster care system. The approximately 3.3-acre campus, which will be located at 3131 Gulf Freeway near downtown Houston, will also include a 17,000-square-foot commercial facility that will house the HAY—Houston Alumni & Youth—Center, a program operated through the Harris County Resources for Children and Adults Department that provides resources and services for youth and young adults exiting the state foster care system. The aim of the project is to help provide more stability for the youth members transitioning from foster care to independent living, ocials said. County ocials said construction of the new campus is expected to begin in the rst quarter of 2022 and is slated to wrap up by the third quarter of 2023. Ocials noted the project is primarily funded through federal Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds received by the county and the city of Houston.


City continues investment in public art initiative


LEAGUE CITY This year the city of League City will continue investing in its public art initiative, a beautication eort that kicked o in spring 2021. Director of Communications and Media Relations Sarah Greer Osborne, who is leading the public art initiative, said the city will host events, youth art and theater classes and build on projects it began this year. “We just didn’t knowwhat to expect when we launched this, but it’s been pretty amazing,” Osborne said. “All the local artists that have just come out of the woodwork.” In 2021, League City spent about $44,000 from the scal year 2020-21 and 2021-22 budgets to paint colorful mini murals on six trac control boxes throughout the city, commissioned artists to paint a murals on the mechanical box and red train caboose in League Park, and launched an art gallery in September within the lobby of the Johnnie Arolfo Civic Center. Planned projects this year include a 7-foot bronze statue honoring the city’s founder, John C. League, in League Park and adding six more mini murals on trac boxes across the city. The murals, much like the six completed ones, will incorporate nature, history and some interactive elements, according to the city.

This train mural was painted in League Park as part of an ongoing art initiative the city has taken on.


Additionally, young artists from Clear Creek ISD will be invited this spring to submit mini mural designs for the chance to showcase their art. The designs will be printed and wrapped around more than 20 trac control boxes near the campuses. Several other mural projects are also planned for the city this year, Osborne said. She said this initiative is ourishing due to community support. “It’s kind of taking on legs and momentum that we didn’t expect, but it’s all because of citizen demand and interest,” she said.

Harris County Flood Control District nears biggest spending year yet


Since Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017 and Harris County voters passed a $2.5 billion ood bond referendum in 2018, the Harris County Flood Control District has: Initiated 181 of 181 projects, 19 of which are complete Authorized $578 million in bond funds Received $1.35 billion in partnership funding Completed 667 buyouts with 645 additional buyouts in process MAKING PROGRESS

HARRIS COUNTY Three years after work began on projects outlined in the Harris County Flood Control District’s $2.5 billion bond program, Deputy Executive Director Matt Zeve said 2022 may be the district’s biggest spending year in its history. “The way things are mapping out, … we should be done with pretty much everything by early 2029,” he said. “But the vast majority of our spending is happening now.” Most of that spending will come from completing three federal ood damage reduction projects this year along Brays, Hunting andWhite Oak bayous—each of which costs more than $100 million, Zeve said. Additionally, HCFCD ocials will submit preliminary ood plain maps in late January to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which will issue the preliminary ood insurance rate map in the summer. Brian Edmondson, project manager for HCFCD’s Modeling, Assessment and Awareness Project, or MAAPnext, said




Candidates le for election in Harris, Galveston counties ahead of 2022 midterms Nearly 100 candidates have led for Harris County positions ahead of the March 2022 primaries, according to the Texas secretary of state website, including for races that cover the Bay Area. Eight Republicans and three Democrats led for Harris County Judge, including incumbent Lina Hidalgo. Three Democrats and ve Republican candidates led for Precinct 2 commissioner, including Democratic incumbent Adrian Garcia. In Galveston County, two Republican candidates, including incumbent Ken Clark, led for Precinct 4 commissioner. The winners for each party in the March primaries will be on the ballot in the November general election.

In 2022, Harris County residents can look forward to: LOOKINGAHEAD

Completion of Brays, Hunting and White Oak bayou federal ood damage reduction projects

Public release of Phase 2 ood tunnel feasibility study

Public release of preliminary ood insurance rate map


the new rates could take eect in 2024. In mid-December, HCFCD ocials also completed the Phase 2 feasibility study of constructing an underground tunnel in Harris County to divert ood- waters, Zeve said. The results will not be released until sometime in 2022. While Zeve said some elected county ocials have mentioned the possibility of a second ood bond

program, that will depend upon how much more debt the county can take on. With or without another bond, Zeve said the HCFCD’s budget needs will continue to grow to pay o bond debt and maintain new infrastructure. “Every time we build a new project, we have to take care of it, and every time we have to take care of it, that costs more money,” he said.



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