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Galveston County
Galveston City Council Public Hearing
by Garrett Bryce w/photos courtesy City of Galveston
Friday, January 04, 2019

Galveston City Council on Thursday held a public hearing regarding the United States Army Corps of Engineers Texas Coastal Study and Tentatively Selected Plan that identifies a coastal barrier system for protecting the Upper Texas Gulf Coast.

Mayor Jim Yarbrough discussed the reason for the hearing.

“The city has, like everyone else has, until January 9 to give an official response,” Yarbrough said, noting the comment period for the Corps of Engineers. He pointed out that comment forms were available at the meeting. Listen (48:25)

There was no action to be taken on the item.

“We feel we've got a pretty good flavor of the issues that people have been discussing,” he said, and that the hearing was to have an opportunity to hear again the feelings of Galveston's constituents to consider in drafting the city's response.

The city council will have an action item on January 9 to approve the response.

Dr. William Merrell, with Texas A&M University at Galveston and an originator of the “Ike Dike” coastal barrier concept, was among the first presenters at the meeting, and provided suggestions of improvements to the Corps of Engineers Plan.

Merrell described the current policy of responding to storm events as “one of failure.”

“The United States is finally beginning to follow other nations in moving to strategies of protection,” Merrell said. “Protecting people and infrastructure from storm induced damages. To date, they've accepted failure, they accept a policy of failure.”

The city council also heard from Kaleb Bennett, deputy director for federal relations for the Texas General Land Office, and citizens who commented on the plan.

Yarbrough noted that several different views are held on the project and that changes to the end project are to be expected.

“It's just part of the old meat grind system that we have to go through,” he said.

Council Member Jason Hardcastle was absent from the meeting.

To view a video of the meeting, Click Here

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