HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Heavy rains can cause much worry to those who live in low-lying areas of the Valley.
Officials with Precinct No.1 in Hidalgo County say that the area is more vulnerable than most when it comes to major rain events.
That’s why they are educating voters on a new proposed drainage bond program that can have a huge impact on the community if passed.
“Some areas like you say already flooded and not here, I don’t worry about it as far as getting flooded,” Hidalgo County homeowner Don Bocanegra said.
Bocanegra says he’s fortunate to live near many drain pipes in his neighborhood in Alamo, yet knows some areas in the county can flood.
“When I see like kinda flooding you look again back and the water on the streets is gone because as many drainages you see here, we have a lot of drainage,” Bocanegra said.
Hidalgo County Precinct No.1 Commissioner David Fuentes says when there’s a major rainfall event the area can get hit hard with flooding.
“There’s such a low laying area we are more vulnerable than most in the sense that we’re the last ones to receive the water out of Hidalgo County everything from the West flows from the East so that’s us,” Fuentes said.
Leaders say this is why the proposed 2023 Drainage Bond Program can help.
The $195 million proposed bond will go towards construction, drainage infrastructure improvements which also includes widening ditches while and not affecting the taxpayer’s dollars.
“It’s important to distinguish that what I am talking about is that we’re not looking at increasing our tax rate and that we can absorb this 195 million dollar bond issuance at current market conditions with a zero tax rate increase on the drainage district,” Fuentes said.
“This 2023 proposed bond focuses on mainly on our main drains,” District General Manager Raul Sesein said.
Officials with Hidalgo County Drainage District No1. say if passed, designs and construction could happen in the same year.
“The advantage that we have with this bond issuance is that majority of the projects are within right away we own already ditches that we own and we’re going to be expanding those systems so that helps expedite the design process and the construction process,” Sesein said.
Leaders say it will take a lot of work.
“There are a lot of neighborhoods because Colinas were developed decades ago that don’t have that connectivity so we’re trying to find resources and ways to find that connectivity to happen,” Fuentes said.
Officials say they continue to work for federal funding so that way more drainage upgrades can happen in the future.
If this 2023 bond package gets passed, leaders say they anticipate having work completed in 4 years.