Proposed water-sewer pilot project expanded to include entire district

The Aldine Community Improvement District Board of Directors met at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19th in the community room above Jed’s ACE Home Center, 5415 Aldine Mail Route.

Following the call to order the board heard public comments from several area residents including Jane Doe and Mary Poe from Aldine Y.O.U.T.H. who asked that the district include in its future plans improvements for the safety of students and other pedestrians around Hambrick Middle School and MacArthur High School. They cited specifically the need for sidewalks and better traffic control in the area.

Susan Hill, with the firm of Hawes Hill & Associates LLP, that represents the District, presented a report from the Texas Controller of Public Accounts on the sales tax receipts for the first month of collection. The total receipts less fees and disputed payments, was just less than $60,000. Before the District was approved by the voters, the Comptroller estimated annual revenues of approximately $600,000.

Next, David Hawes, also of Hawes Hill, reported on the status of the District’s effort to obtain a planning grant from the Texas Water Development Board. The project, proposed at the February meeting by State Representative Kevin Bailey, called for the board to apply for a grant to study the feasibility of bringing water and sewer service to a selected neighborhood within the District.
Representatives from the firm of Bracewell & Patterson, who are working, pro bono, with the District to obtain the grant, met with representatives of Hawes Hill, Kevin Bailey’s office, and the Texas Water Development Board in February, to begin the process.

As a result of that meeting, it was learned that the TWDB would not fund a limited or pilot project as proposed. The agency will consider awarding a planning grant for the entire District, however, and the decision was made to proceed with the application that would meet that requirement.

Both Harris County that is providing engineering services at no cost to the District and Bracewell & Patterson have agreed to continue their assistance to the greatly expanded project.

Mr. Hawes then addressed the District wide effort to clean-up more than 70 overgrown lots and dumping areas his staff has identified. Several different approaches are planned, including the citing of property owners when possible.

Mr. Hawes suggested that the Board study the information about the area gathered in 2000 by the Harris County Community Development Department in a series of community meetings prior to its scheduled planning workshop. The document includes an extensive section detailing area goals, possible solutions and strategies, and potential partnerships.

The next meeting of the ACID board will be held on Tuesday, April 16th at 7:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend and public comments will be heard following the call to order.

Anyone with questions about the Improvement District may contact the firm of Hawes Hill at 713-541-0447.