Galveston County Judge Mark Henry said he will ask commissioners to consider seeking cost estimates for removing plant debris along both the Galveston County and the Harris County sides of Clear Creek.
Commissioners are set to vote about whether to seek requests for proposals for the creek-cleaning project on Monday, two weeks after deferring a vote.
On Friday, Henry said he would support seeking a price to clear both sides of the creek, with a plan to bring that price to Harris County officials to see whether they’d be willing to pay it.
For the past month, Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken Clark has called for the county to launch a project in which barges would be used to remove trees and brush from the creek channel and along the banks.
The maintenance is long overdue and would show residents that the county was committed to taking some form of flood control action 16 months after Hurricane Harvey flooded the area, he said.
Clark’s proposal was held up, however, over questions about the wisdom of seeking a bid on the project without the cooperation of Harris County, which maintains one side of Clear Creek.
Clark had suggested Galveston County advertise a project that would only clear the Galveston County side of the creek in parts of League City and Friendswood. He reasoned that some action in the area would spur Harris County to also take action. Henry questioned that reasoning, and whether there was any real benefit to clearing only half the creek.
There’s been a modest swell of public support for Clark’s proposal since the last commissioners court meeting. Last week, the League City City Council passed a resolution urging the county to move forward with the idea. The resolution was unusual because such calls to action are typically reserved to urge action by the state or federal government, not other local entities.
The compromise commissioners will consider Monday wouldn’t commit Galveston County to continue if Harris County declined to participate, Henry said.
“I don’t see any point in doing one side,” Henry said.
Clark on Saturday said he supported Henry’s plan, and thought Harris County would be willing to work with Galveston County.
“They are amenable to doing both sides,” he said.
Henry estimated it would take six months to complete the project, if it’s approved.
Clark intends to ask for updates on the project at every commissioners court meeting in the hope of moving as quickly as possible, he said.
Commissioners will meet at 9:30 a.m. in Galveston on Monday.