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Local leaders advocating countywide drainage district

Liberty County Judge Jay Knight has been an advocate for developing a comprehensive drainage plan for the whole county. His vision includes a countywide drainage district. Currently, there are six different drainage districts throughout the county, but only three of those are active. Judge Knight said those established drainage districts were historically put in place in areas of the county to primarily aid farmers. He said a countywide drainage district is now needed to better deal with the population growth and developments that are coming to the county. With a countywide drainage district in place, Judge Knight said it would allow the county to force developers to comply with the plan and put in infrastructure to support and comply with it. With that vision in mind, the county has applied for a $2 million grant from the Texas General Land Office for a countywide drainage study that would include a comprehensive remediation plan. However, to establish a countywide drainage district, the county needs approval from both the Texas Legislature and local voters. District 18 State Rep. Ernest Bailes, who serves Liberty, San Jacinto and Walker counties, said he has introduced legislation on the state level for that Liberty County drainage district. If HB 1820 is approved on the state level, Liberty County voters would then have the final say. Judge Knight said county officials hope to get a Texas GLO grant to fund a comprehensive drainage study and remediation plan. Then, Liberty County Commissioners would put that plan before voters and ask for their approval for a countywide drainage district. Judge Knight said it is a golden opportunity to get ahead of the population growth and development that are headed this way while dealing with ongoing drainage issues throughout the county. 

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