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Airline District makes major strides with Water Study, Streetlighting

Resident in the Airline Improvement District area held a meeting last Thursday night, to hear about progress in their community. The presentation was made by AID executive director Teri Koerth, AID president John Martin, and Harris County Planner Melissa Hamous.
They answered questions about the new Water and Sewer study to be funded by TWDB, and the resulting opportunity to discontinue the use of antiquated septic systems, in favor of a new central sewage system in the future. A new water system will also provide better fire protection and probable lower insurance rates. Residents were asked to cooperate with the engineers, McDonough Engineering, to finalize the report which will be available in about 6 to 9 months.
The officials also were able to report that about 120 new streetlights were being installed on Airline Drive and Aldine Mail Route as part of the AID safety improvements. A future mobility study will be part of this work. The next meeting of the Airline district will be on July 26 at Holy Trinity Church, Northline Drive. Additional information is available on the website, www.airlinedistrict.org.
The Airline Improvement District (AID) is receiving a grant from the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) for a Water and Wastewater Planning Study to determine the economic feasibility of alternatives to replace failing septic systems and provide a potable water supply to the District’s residents and business. The state grant is for $125,000.

“Our concern is that some neighborhoods are facing a public health crisis,” said Rep. Kevin Bailey. “In many cases these neighborhoods have very shallow water wells, septic systems that leak and raw sewerage flowing into streets and ditches. When these neighborhoods were developed back in the fifties and sixties, this was more of a rural area. Today the community is surrounded by the City of Houston and all of the development has had a negative impact on the quality of ground water but our residents currently lack alternatives.”
Rep. Bailey explained that the grant will pay for an analysis to determine the most feasible alternatives to meet regional water supply and wastewater facility needs, the costs associated with implementing those alternatives, and identify the institutional arrangements to provide regional water supply and wastewater services, and potential sources of governmental funding. Political subdivisions must meet special requirements and apply for the competitive grants.
“The Airline Improvement District in conjunction with it’s partners is doing the study to obtain a clear picture of the state of water and sanitary sewer in the district,” said Teri Koerth, Executive Director of the District.
The grant requires a 50% local match that is being contributed by several local groups that are providing needed services free of charge to area residents or making monetary contributions.
A local law firm, which prefers to remain anonymous, will be providing $55,000 in services, free of charge to the district, in doing the legal research and preparation of documents as necessary to complete this project.
Harris County Public Infrastructure Department is providing support too, for AID’s grant from TWDB by contributing $45,000 in engineering design and other support. The work will be performed by the engineering firm of McDonough Engineering Corp.
Airline Improvement District will be contributing approximately $25,000 to the project.
After a meeting arranged by Rep. Bailey in the spring of 2002, the East Aldine Management District received a similar Planning Grant from the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) and their planning study was completed in 2004.