District C Meeting Solicits Input on Improvements

Mar. 12, 2013YourHoustonNews.com

More than 150 persons attended last week’s capital improvement plan (CIP) meeting for Houston City Council District C, which includes west central Houston from north of the Houston Heights through the Inner Loop to south of Bellaire.

“I was very pleased with the turnout. People in this district are extraordinarily well-versed on the issues and very respectful,” said City Council Member Ellen Cohen. “People want to talk about other things, but as you know, this was strictly to discuss capital improvements.”

Houston’s fiscal 2013 CIP includes about $1.1 billion worth of projects spread over the next five years. Nearly 12 percent of those projects are funded by property tax revenue. Other funding sources include bond revenues, grants, federal and state program funds, Metro, and fees. Annual CIP meeting allow for public input before the CIP is redrafted and extended in April. City Council will review and approve the updated CIP in May and June.

At the CIP meeting held March 5, representatives from the city’s Finance, General Services, Parks and Public Works departments discussed planning and implementation of the current CIP. Dale Rudick, deputy director for Rebuild Houston, also discussed how that program, approved by voters in 2010, is extending CIP planning beyond the five-year timeframe to begin addressing a backlog of needed street and drainage projects. The program puts the city on a pay-as-you-go basis to make these infrastructure improvements.

Public comment is under way through March 31 on the draft of Rebuild Houston’s Five-Plus-Five Plan, which includes projects in the current CIP and also identifies high need areas for future CIP consideration through 2023. In District C, the plan identifies four areas of high need for drainage improvements and nine high need areas along major thoroughfares and collector streets.

CIP maps and project lists can be viewed on the city’s website at http://www.houstontx.gov/cip/index.html.

To review Rebuld Houston’s Five-Plus-Five Plan, go to http://www.rebuildhouston.org.