A lot of people are either up in arms regarding local flooding, or sympathetic with government entities having to deal with huge drainage issues we’re facing, but at the same time noting it’s time to crack the whip.
There were a lot of good things shared at the Rockport City Council workshop last Tuesday. If you missed it, pick up a copy of last weekend’s edition of this newspaper and read all about it.
Right or wrong, this is what I felt after the meeting:
1. We have to quit relying on grants to pay for drainage work.
2. We need to have a permanent funding source of at least $1 million (Rockport only) annually.
3. And, it might be time to actually look at some type of drainage (taxing) district that covers everyone in Aransas County.
The different drainage plans that are in place are great, but funding is a problem.
Add to that the Aransas County Navigation District’s desire to reroute Tule Ditch outfall to Aransas Bay - so that a large part of the stormwater that is now flowing into Little Bay, flows into the much larger Aransas Bay – and we’re no longer talking chump change.
(Note: I still think, without any scientific knowledge, that another inlet should be cut through Rockport Beach to add another water exchange in what is a man-created two outlet Little Bay.)
I also believe those who say that prior to the creation of Little Bay in its present form (after the creation of Rockport Beach and the development of Key Allegro) there were no water quality issues in Little Bay.
Some want to blame development, etc., and to a certain extent, that contributes to drainage issues, but changing what God created is what is causing the issues in water quality (and yes, that includes development).
Floodwaters know no political boundaries, and it doesn’t start and stop on land with houses on it, commercial properties, land owned by non-profits (churches, etc.), or governmental entities.
I’ve lived here going on 38 years and I’ve always heard those who wish Rockport, Fulton, and all Aransas County would stay the same.
Believe me, I understand that sentiment, but the reality is it will not remain the same.
We will not have smokestack industry, and property values will continue to rise, making it harder and harder for people to live here.
However, development is not going to stop anytime soon.
The only thing we can do is try to steer certain types of development in particular areas of the county.
Rockport-Fulton is no longer a secret. It has “been on the map” for quite some time.
Key Allegro, Harbor Oaks, and Rockport Country Club are older subdivisions, but have retained and increased in value over time. Many of the homes in those three subdivisions have been extensively remodeled since Hurricane Harvey.
Many other canal subdivisions are being developed, or have already been developed.
Nice apartment complexes, and some subsidized housing is available, but from what I understand, the cost of that subsidized housing is higher post-Harvey.
It’s expensive to live here, and don’t get your hopes up that fact will change.
We have a super storm of the non-weather variety heading our way if we don’t bite the bullet and take care of some things (i.e. - infrastructure) we need to address.
As Jim Urban of Urban Engineering said at last week’s workshop, “Just get started.”
For years I’ve looked at Corpus Christi and said that city can never get out from behind the eight ball in terms of its infrastructure, and probably never will based on what I understand needs to be done.
We’re not there yet, but kicking major projects, and corresponding debt to pay for those projects, down the road will only exacerbate issues we face.
Pushing small projects back a few years is one thing, but putting large projects on the back burner will bite one on the butt.
We’ve been nipped a few times lately. Let’s not get bit by a rabid dog we created.
As Jerry Brundrett said, we have a lot of great minds living here, and we can address, and solve this problem.
Just remember this, and this will never change – it won’t be cheap.
As I write this six grandchildren and one grandmother are conked out. Our annual week with the grandkids has begun, and the old adage “There’s a reason God gives children to young people” rings true.
But, and this is a big but … grandparents can do anything for a week, and I wouldn’t trade this time with our grandkids for all the money in the world.
It’s one thing to spend a weekend with them, but having them all in our home for a week, we get to see the fullness of their personalities.
Through three nights, at least one grandchild has woken up in a bed, on a pallet or in a fort that’s different than the one on which he or she started the night. The two still in Pack N Plays are pretty much under our control.
We have survived Opening Day, Game Day, and Water Day. Every day is themed, and the grands help us with ideas throughout the year.
The one I’m really looking forward to this year is Dude Perfect Day. I’ll have to check “the schedule” on the poster board hanging in our house because I’ll have to make sure I get some sleep the night before.
Until next week, have a good week.
Mike Probst can be reached at email@example.com.