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Harris County Commissioners Approve $848 Million Bond Proposal

The majority of the funds would go toward improving roads. The four-part referendum also includes bonds for parks, flood control and an animal shelter.

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The majority of the funds would go toward improving roads. The four-part referendum also includes bonds for parks, flood control and an animal shelter. Harris County voters will decide this November whether or not to approve the proposal totaling $848 million.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett says the improvements are necessary and meet the needs of a growing population.

“So while it sounds like a huge number, we’re a big county and unincorporated Harris County is growing a lot faster even than, say, the City of Houston, and we’ve got to take care of that growth, and so that’s what this allows us to do,” Emmett says.

The judge says some voters may be hesitant to approve more debt, but Harris County will eventually have to pay for these improvements. He says the bonds would simply allow them to get a head start on the projects.

Rapid population growth shows no signs of slowing, and Emmett says transportation is becoming a pressing issue for many neighborhoods in unincorporated parts of the county.

“All these subdivisions that have been built over the years, like along 1960, it was always assumed that they would be annexed into the City of Houston,” Emmett says. “Instead, now they’re 50 years old, their subdivisions streets are wearing out. Those streets are coming onto the road log of Harris County. The county was never really in a position to be doing residential streets, but here we are.”

County commissioners are expected to finalize the ballot language at their next meeting in two weeks.

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