Drainage Fund Proposition Barely Wins Voter Approval

After lagging in some pre-election polls, proposition one, which establishes a dedicated fund for drainage and street improvements, squeaked by last night, winning a virtual dead heat with just over 50-percent of the vote. KUHF's Jack Williams reports.

The proposition was known as the "Renew Houston" measure and will set-up a fund that can only be used for drainage infrastructure improvements and street upgrades. The fund would get its money from a monthly fee that would be a part of the water bill, estimated to be about $5 a month per household and more for businesses and non-profits, like schools and churches. City Councilman Stephen Costello supported the measure.

"I think this is a historic event for us to change how we fund infrastructure. No longer are we going to be doing debt financing for infrastructure. We're going to be doing pay as you go. I look forward to working with my colleagues and the administration on number one, setting a drainage impact fee or drainage user fee that's equitable for everybody and also making sure that this program meets what we advertised it would do is to build improvements where it's needed first."
 
Opponents of the measure called it a massive tax hike and wonder why the city doesn't dip into other funding sources to improve the drainage system and streets. Council will not have to decide exactly how much the fee will be and what it will be use for.




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Bio photo of Jack Williams

Jack Williams

Director of News Programming

News Director Jack Williams has been with Houston Public Radio since August of 2000. He's also a reporter and anchor for Houston Public Radio's local All Things Considered segments...