West U Still Working on Obtaining More Detention Space

June 27, 2012

West U residents will have to keep waiting for the restrictor at the end of the pipe at Poor Farm Ditch to be modified.

City Manager Michael Ross told InstantNewsWestU.com that the city continues to work with the City of Houston to obtain detention space in the Brays Bayou Detention Basin, but so far the additional detention space needed to remove the rest of the restrictor has not been purchased.

Houston owns the Brays Bayou Detention Basin and cost of detention is $91,750 per acre-foot.

Ross said Houston’s legal department has said that Houston’s charter does not allow them to sell detention space, but they could lease the space for 30 years.

“We disagree, respectively,” he said.

Once the 30 years is up, it would be up to Houston’s director of public works at the time to allow West U to continue to lease the space or not, he said.

“We don’t think that’s in the best interest of West University Place right now,” Ross said.

West U was able to remove 1/3 of the restrictor last year after purchasing 4.4 acre-feet of detention space in the Meyer Tract from the Harris County Flood Control District. West U needs to purchase an additional 9.1 acre-feet in detention before the remainder of the restrictor can be removed.

Removing the restrictor is expected to relieve flooding in downstream areas of West U.

West U has been working with Houston for more than a year to purchase the 9.1 acre-feet of detention in the Brays Bayou Detention Basin. Ross said the money to purchase the detention space is in the bank.

“We’re evaluating all the possible options available to us again in case we cannot rely on the City of Houston deal,” Ross said. “We’re going to look at all options, anywhere and everywhere in the Brays Bayou watershed.”

Ross said the city is working with flood control to find the remaining 9.1 acre-feet of detention and the city is looking at the possibility of solo projects to go at it alone with flood control’s approval.

“Our hope is that we can still work through this with the City of Houston … but we’re forced to look at every possible action,” he said. “We will pursue it vigorously.”

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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