Announcement Regarding Additional Planned Pump Station

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the Texas Legislature and Texas voters authorized an amendment to the State of Texas Constitution to create the Flood Infrastructure Fund (“FIF”).  The FIF is administered by the Texas Water Development Board (“TWDB”), together with other state agencies, to provide financial assistance for a wide range of projects to improve flood resiliency throughout the State of Texas.

In 2020, the TWDB began accepting applications from governmental entities in Texas for financial assistance through the FIF. At the same time, the Board of Directors for Fort Bend County Levee Improvement District No. 19 (“LID 19”) was looking into cost efficient ways to increase the pumping capacity to improve drainage within the Steep Bank Creek watershed.  In particular, the LID 19 Board was evaluating options to improve rainwater drainage during periods where gravity outflow of rainwater from Steep Bank Creek, which drains stormwater from LID 19 to the Brazos River, is restricted due to elevated water levels of the Brazos River during a weather event. The LID 19 Board seized the opportunity and authorized its consultants to prepare and submit an application for financial assistance for a proposed new regional pump station project to serve the Steep Bank Creek Watershed and significantly improve flood resilience for property within LID 19.

With limited FIF funds available and numerous competitive applications from other governmental entities, LID 19 was required to demonstrate cost-benefit advantage and obtain written support from numerous other local governmental entities, including Fort Bend County and neighboring levee improvement and municipal utility districts.

In April 2021, the TWDB announced it would approve LID 19’s request for financial assistance, and LID 19 was awarded a 0% interest loan over 30 years for this proposed pump station project.  Based on estimates from LID 19’s financial advisor, this reflects an approximately $4.5 million savings over traditional financing methods.

Lost Creek Pump Station – Project Description

In November 2021, LID 19 successfully closed on the interest-free loan from the TWDB, and the Board is pleased to announce plans to design and construct a new regional pump station. Tentatively dubbed the “Lost Creek Pump Station,” the LID 19 Board has directed its engineer to begin the design of a pump station capable of pumping 200,000 gallons per minute (“gpm”) of water from the Steep Bank Creek watershed to the Brazos River.

This additional pumping capacity will add a significant level of flood resiliency for LID 19 residents, in addition to other improvements that have been made post Hurricane Harvey.  Below is a summary of pumping capacity within the Steep Bank Creek watershed that is currently available, under construction, and proposed.

After all the improvements are in place, LID 19’s Board would have initiated and executed projects that would eventually add 537.5% pumping capacity to the original capacity of 80,000 gpm, for a total of 637.5% installed capacity compared to the pre-Harvey pumping capacity.

Once all these projects are completed, LID 19 will have a very robust flood resiliency infrastructure in place to guard against severe weather events and the potential of changing and intensifying future weather patterns.

Regional Project Partners

In addition to the financial assistance provided by State of Texas through the FIF, we applaud and express our gratitude to the following neighboring political subdivisions within the Steep Bank Creek watershed, who have provided significant financial contributions towards the Lost Creek Pump Station project:

  • First Colony Levee Improvement District
  • Fort Bend County Municipal Utility District No. 115

The combined contributions of approximately $5 million from these regional partners will go a long way in improving flood resiliency for all residents in the watershed.  Based on current projections from LID 19’s financial advisor, we are also pleased to inform you that we are able to pursue construction of the Lost Creek Pump Station project, at a total estimated project cost of approximately $15 million, without raising the LID 19 property tax rate.

In addition, we thank Fort Bend County Commissioners Ken DeMerchant and Grady Prestage and Fort Bend County Drainage District for their support of this Project. The Board would also like to thank LID 19 consultants and counsel for working expeditiously to be able to secure this zero-interest loan and support from various stakeholders and representatives.

If you have any questions regarding the Lost Creek Pump Station project or the financing through the State of Texas Flood Infrastructure Fund, please feel free to attend a meeting of the Board of Directors for LID 19 or contact us through the website:

Contact Us – Fort Bend County Levee Improvement District 19 (fblid19.com)

Respectfully,

Kalapi Sheth, President
Dean Cooper, Vice President
Radhika Iyer, Secretary
Sreekanth Pannala, Assistant Secretary

Board of Directors
Fort Bend County Levee Improvement District No. 19

Maintenance of Steep Bank Creek Reserve

As many of you are aware, Steep Bank Creek is a natural waterway running through the middle of LID 19.  However, many of you, particularly those whose homes are adjacent to Steep Bank Creek, have inquired as to the maintenance of this area.

Prior to the development of Riverstone, the United States Army Corps of Engineers placed numerous restrictions on Steep Bank Creek, requiring it to be largely maintained as a natural waterway.  Under the USACE requirements, the LID’s ability to maintain Steep Bank Creek is very limited.  The area cannot be maintained in the same manner as a manicured public greenspace within Riverstone – as mowing and tree pruning are heavily restricted.  Therefore, grass stands often appear higher than what you might see in other parts of Riverstone, as LID 19’s ability to mow is limited to only a few times per year.

Public access to Steep Bank Creek is strictly prohibited.  Due to the preservation of Steep Bank Creek in its natural state, the area has not been developed for public recreational purposes and may pose many safety risks.  In addition, Steep Bank Creek is home to local wildlife, such as wild hogs, snakes, nutria, and other biting insects.  We request your cooperation in keeping out of Steep Bank Creek.

If you have any other questions or concerns regarding the maintenance of Steep Bank Creek, please feel free to reach out to the Board by filling out the online form here.   Contact Us – Fort Bend County Levee Improvement District 19 (fblid19.com)

Accepting Applications – Board Precinct 2 (Millwood, Lost Creek, SW Stonebrook)

The Board of Directors of LID 19 will consider appointment of a director to fill a vacancy on the Board. The term for this position expires May 2022.

If you are interested in being considered for the appointment and are a registered voter in Precinct 2 (a map of the District’s precincts can be found here), please forward your resume (or bio), address, and a brief statement of why you would like to serve on the Board to keely@mullerlawgroup.com or via USPS at 202 Century Square Blvd., Sugar Land, Texas 77478 by noon on Wednesday, November 10, 2021.