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File #: 21-6471    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Discussion Item Status: Agenda Ready
File created: 11/16/2021 In control: Commissioners Court
On agenda: 11/30/2021 Final action:
Title: Request for discussion and possible action regarding the Texas Water Development Board's recent rejection of four Harris County Flood Control Department grant applications for flood projects in the Halls Bayou Watershed due to Benefit Cost Ratio less than one (1.0).
Date Ver.Action ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsVideo
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Department: Commissioner, Precinct 1
Department Head/Elected Official: Commissioner Ellis

Regular or Supplemental RCA: Regular RCA

Type of Request: Discussion Item

Project ID (if applicable): N/A
Vendor/Entity Legal Name (if applicable): N/A
MWDBE Participation (if applicable): N/A

Request Summary (Agenda Caption):
title
Request for discussion and possible action regarding the Texas Water Development Board's recent rejection of four Harris County Flood Control Department grant applications for flood projects in the Halls Bayou Watershed due to Benefit Cost Ratio less than one (1.0).
end

Background and Discussion:
In 2019, the Texas Legislature passed SB7, which was then approved by voters through constitutional amendment. The bill created the Flood Infrastructure Fund (FIF) and charged the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) with distributing $790M for flood risk reduction projects across the state. Thereafter, the TWDB created the Flood Intended Use Plan, laying out criteria for selection of projects that would receive funding from the FIF. The Flood Intended Use Plan discusses Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR) for project applications, though BCR was not included as a part of TWDB's scoring criteria for the grants.

Use of the BCR in grant programs has consistently disadvantaged projects in lower income areas (where property values are low, the calculated avoided damages for a project are also low). In 2020, Harris County Flood Control District submitted nine (9) applications to the TWDB for FIF grant funding. Seven of these projects are in the Halls and Greens Bayou watersheds.

The law does not require a BCR greater than 1.0. The initial abridged application scoring in the FIUP already provided project scoring based on metrics of the project merits, including equity such as need and distribution benefits. Thus far, one project in Harris County was approved for FIF funding by the TWDB ($3.88M) for the Halls Bayou Drainage Project Bond C-28 & C-29. The Coun...

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