The district's budget for Fiscal Year 2018-2019 includes $60 million for operations and $60 million for capital improvement projects. But the county is looking at billions of dollars' worth of projects to safeguard against future flooding – including building a third reservoir, widening bayous, and buyouts of flood prone homes.
Judge Ed Emmett says some of the money will come from Congress or the state, but not enough. "We will eventually have to, as a county, say, ‘OK, here are the projects that aren't covered by those other sources. We're going to have to cover them,'" he says.
County commissioners are still working out the details of a $1 billion flood control bond, which would include a property tax increase. Emmett says he hates the property tax, but it's the only source of revenue the county is allowed under state law.