FROM IDEA TO IMPLEMENTATION
The Cypress Creek Flooding Task Force has proposed the creation of a Cypress Creek drainage district to promote ood mitigation, but legislators must approve the district before it can be created.
May 2022: The Cypress Creek Flooding Task Force announces its pursuit of creating a drainage district along the Cypress Creek watershed.
March 10, 2023: The deadline for legislators to le bills in the 88th session
May 29, 2023: The last day of the Texas Legislature’s 88th session
June 2023: If approved by the Legislature, the bill will go before Gov. Greg Abbott for consideration.
November 2022: The task force announces it has pivoted its plan so Texas legislators will create a Cypress Creek drainage district with a temporary board of directors.
Jan. 10, 2023: The Texas Legislature’s 88th session convenes.
November 2023 or May 2024: A temporary board of directors will call an election to choose a permanent board of directors and uphold the district’s creation. It will be up to the permanent board to create a funding mechanism for the district.
SOURCES: LEGISLATIVE REFERENCE LIBRARY OF TEXAS, TEXAS LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, THE CYPRESS CREEK FLOODING TASK FORCECOMMUNITY IMPACT
special district and a board,” Wilker- son said. “The special district created by the bill will have no taxation pow- ers nor powers of eminent domain.” If voters eventually approve the district in an election, the district’s permanent board of directors would discuss and establish a funding mech- anism for the district, he said. The district could pursue projects to mitigate ooding along Cypress Creek, look into state and federal funding for ood projects, and develop partnerships with local util- ity districts. The Cypress Creek Flooding Task Force—which formed in 2019, accord- ing to Wilkerson—initially announced the proposed Cypress Creek drainage district in May. The group set out to create the district to prevent cata- strophic ooding to homes and struc- tures in the watershed. Community group reactions Since proposing the drainage dis- trict, the task force has met with other local organizations that ght ooding in the Cypress Creek area. Multiple members of the Cypress
Creek Flood Control Coalition—a non- prot founded in 1999—joined a steer- ing committee with the task force in late July to discuss the proposed drain- age district, CCFCC President Joe Mey- ers said. Since then, the task force has presented drafts of legislation to the steering committee. “[CCFCC] did pass a resolution in support of eorts [of] like-minded eorts to solve ooding,” Meyers said. “That includes supporting, corrobo- rating, cooperating and coordinating with like-minded eorts in the cre- ation of a drainage improvement dis- trict for Cypress Creek. So we agreed that this was something worth being in the mix with versus outside.” Cypress Creek Association-Stop the Flooding also works on ood mit- igation eorts in the Cypress Creek area. The organization’s founder, Paul Eschenfelder, said he wished the task force would hold public meetings with the community about the district, and he worries the pro- posed district is not the right solu- tion for local ooding problems. When it comes to funding and attention, Meyers said he believes
The Cypress Creek watershed has a history of ooding, which puts homes, businesses and community centers at risk should another severe ood strike. 453,399 people lived in the Harris County portion of the Cypress Creek watershed in 2020. 9,450 homes in the watershed were ooded during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. 29.3 inches of rainfall was received in four days in the watershed during Hurricane Harvey. $17.9B worth of damage to 16,000 structures located in the Cypress Creek Cultural District would result from a 100-year ood event.
SOURCES: THE CYPRESS CREEK FLOODING TASK FORCE, HARRIS COUNTY FLOOD CONTROL DISTRICT COMMUNITY IMPACT
“THE CREATION OF THE SPECIAL DISTRICT WOULD ENABLE US TO SEEK STATE FUNDING AND FEDERAL FUNDING FOR FLOOD CONTROL EFFORTS. RIGHT NOW, WE HAVE NO VOICE TO HELP US DO THAT." GLENN WILKERSON, CYPRESS CREEK FLOODING TASK FORCE PRESIDENT
the Cypress Creek watershed has been “historically neglected” com- pared to other watersheds through- out Harris County. “Cypress Creek … just hasn’t gotten the funding and the support that other
watersheds have gotten for a lot of dierent reasons,” Meyers said. “Now … Cypress Creek is the largest water- shed. It’s got a 10th of the population in Harris County, and it’s growing, and it still has a lot of area to grow.”
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CYPRESS EDITION • FEBRUARY 2023
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