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With Eye On Harvey Repairs, Houston Approves $9 Billion In Capital Spending

Mayor Sylvester Turner said the city’s latest Capital Improvement Plan had to focus on Harvey-related work in order to qualify for federal reimbursement. That was cold comfort to some city council members, who saw projects in their districts delayed as a result.

As Houston waits for federal reimbursement, the city government is digging into its own coffers to repair Harvey-damaged infrastructure. That’s shoved other infrastructure projects, some of which have been waiting for years, onto the back burner.

Houston City Council voted to approve Mayor Sylvester Turner’s proposed $9 billion Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) through 2023. Turner told council members that projects bumped from this year’s plan are not being abandoned, but, “the federal government puts us in a position of having to fund the Harvey recovery projects. The only way we can fund the Harvey recovery project is to take it from the existing CIP. Otherwise, we don’t have the money.”

Several council members were less than reassured. District A’s Brenda Stardig said that some of her delayed projects specifically dealt with drainage, including one related to an evacuation route along the Addicks and Barker Dams.

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Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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