Corpus Christi’s plan to annex more than 7,000 acres in San Patricio County has raised concerns about potential infrastructure projects for the area.
The San Patricio County Drainage District has worked for more than a year with engineers, local governments, and other agencies to devise a drainage plan to solve flooding issues in Gregory and Portland.
“We have flooding issues in Gregory and parts of Portland, and we need to solve those,” said John Michael, Senior V.P. with Hanson Professional Services.
Those flooding issues start at Green Lake Dam. The dam prevents outflow into the bay, while providing water for the North Shore Country Club.
This dam isn’t part of the area the city is considering annexing. However, the dam does affect several areas that are part of the annexation zone.
Officials say that means if Corpus Christi annexes, the city is on the hook for part of the cost. This particular project has an estimated cost of about $20 million.
“If they bring it into their city limits, they’re responsible for all the drainage, all the infrastructure, all the roads,” said Ingleside Mayor Ronnie Parker.
Major infrastucture projects also brings major concerns which will grow, as annexation proceeds.
“This city’s action jeopardizes that project and could triple the cost of drainage in the affected area,” said Debra Barrett, President of the San Patricio County Drainage District.
Michael says its too early to tell how much annexation adds to the project cost, but he does concede it will get more complicated as annexation moves forward.
“If the city moves forward with annexation, it’s just another level of government that the drainage district is going to have to work with,” said Michael.
After trying to solve the problem for 35 years, Michael is hopeful a solution is close.
“The problem is only getting worse, it’s not getting better. We’ve got to get it addressed, and it is imperative that we get it addressed.”
The city’s planning director told KRIS 6 News that they were not aware of these projects before starting the annexation process. Dan McGinn also says that it’s too soon to say how those costs will affect the annexation proposal.