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Harris County
Houston City Council
by Garrett Bryce w/photos courtesy City of Houston
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Houston City Council today voted unanimously to confirm the appointments of Council Member Jerry Davis to Postion 1, Council Member Greg Travis to Position 2, and council members Robert Gallegos and Jack Christie as at-large alternates to the Houston-Galveston Area Council Board of Directors.

The city council voted 14-2, with Christie and Greg Travis opposed, to approve an agreement with the Texas Water Development Board for administering the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Flood Mitigation Assistance Program, in the amount of $12,364,111.

The funding from the water development board will provide for reimbursement for the cost to coplete the elevation of 40 flood prone homes.

Christie questioned the use of the money.

“I just think it's, again it's $13 million, poor use of funds,” Christie said. “I think that we should apply for waivers to use that money differently.” Listen (3:15)

Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Cohen stated that the money utilizes federal dollars.

“If we don't use the money, it just goes somewhere else,” Cohen said.

The city council took no action regarding approval of award of a contract to Yellow Cab of Houston, Inc. concerning payment to address Emergency Disaster recovery Activities as a result of Hurricane Harvey for transportation services. The item was tagged by Brenda Stardig.

The city council voted unanimously to adopt a resolution confirming support for several proposed developments of affordable rental housing in the city. However, three proposed projects were removed for separate consideration. Those included City Park Apartments, Trinity East, and the Rockwell Senior Village. All three of those proposed developments were tagged by Larry Green and Dwight Boykins.

The city council voted unanimously to adopt a resolution identifying certain proposed developments of affordable rental housing as contributing to the concerted revitalization efforts of the city more any other area in which the applicable development is located. However, one item, concerning City Park Apartments, was pulled for separate consideration and tagged by Green and Boykins.

All other items were approved by unanimous vote. Council Member Amanda Edwards was absent. Agenda

During his report, Mayor Sylvester Turner discussed Hurricane Harvey funding. He noted that it could be some time before funding actually arrives for spending.

“So, in the meantime, we are moving quickly, right here, right now, to create the policies and plans to ensure the safety of all Houstonians,” he said. “One involves the repair and strengthening of city assets, the other involves keeping homeowners out of harm's way during future flooding through home elevations, mitigation reconstruction and buyouts.” Listen (1 hour 16 minutes)

Turner stated that there is as much as $2.5 billion in damages to city assets and infrastructure, and the city has identified 5,000 repair items.

Chief Recovery Officer Marvin Odum then gave a presentation to the city council concerning damages and the process moving forward. He stressed the importance to follow procedures properly to receive federal reimbursement dollars.

“The perspective that we have to take as a city and as a recovery team is that every dollar we spend is at risk, so diligence is absolutely key here,” Odum said.

Remembering Jim Guidry Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership

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