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      Hidalgo County asks for $184 million on drainage bond

      Hidalgo County residents will see a special bond initiative on this November TMs ballot asking for $184 million in drainage system improvements.More than 800,000 people live in Hidalgo County and own $35 billion worth of property.It TMs no secret the upper valley could improve its drainage system.As seen from Hurricane Alex, Hurricane Dolly, and even the McAllen hail storm last March.The capacity is not where it needs to be.As long as we continue to have those five or six inch rain events were going to continue to have flooding, drainage district communication consultant Brian Godinez said.Judge Ramn Garcia says it TMs the county TMs number one priority right now.We need to make sure we in a position to protect both life and property in the event of a substantial hurricane, Garcia said.Waiting any longer will only drive the cost up and allow less time to prepare for a big storm.This project is an immediate need, Godinez said. It basically builds a managed drainage system where we can remotely control the outflow of water.If the bond passes, $84 million will be divided into 25 different projects along canals and drainage systems throughout the county so the next time there is a big rain event low lying areas won TMt flood homes surrounding the canals.Most of these projects consist of enhancing structures, adding flood gates and expanding the capacity of canals to alleviate choking points.These small projects would take anywhere between 18-24 months to complete.Another $100 million will fund the Raymondville Drain Project, a canal system that will divert flood waters on the north side of the county and into the Laguna Madre Bay.The federal government has already committed to pay 90 percent of the Raymondville Drain Project but only if the bond passes.The project would take five to six years to complete.So how much will 184 million dollars cost you?For every 100 thousand dollars worth of property value, it will cost $2 a month.There TMs never been a better time to borrow money. Money is cheap, Godinez said.We need to make sure we take advantage of that so in my mind that TMs what made this case a no brainer, Garcia said. It TMs not going to change, it TMs not going to go away. We either address it now or it will have to be addressed by future generations and who know what will happen between now and then.For more information on the project visit Hcdrainage.org.This week Hidalgo County Judge Ramon Garcia will be hosting two additional town hall meetings regarding the drainage bond referendum on the Nov 6th ballot:

      San Juan AreaWednesday, OCT 36:00 p.m.San Juan Public Library1010 S. StandardSan Juan

      Mission AreaThursday, OCT 46:00 P.M.Mission City Hall1201 E. 8th StreetMission