It also gets $350,000
By Elsa Maxey
Fort Bend County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1 (Fort Bend WCID No. 1), created in 1930, will no longer exist. The Sugar Land City Council approved its dissolution this month, but not without first securing its water rights, and it will also get the money the water district had in its accounts.
Both the city and the Fort Bend County WCID No. 1 worked together to have state legislation passed during this past session in Austin allowing for the water district to be dissolved, and having the water rights and assets, $305,000, transferred to Sugar Land. The money will go into a Surface Water Fund, according to the city.
The city will now assume the water district’s functions relating to water management for about 15,000 acres of land. Also, the city will provide for drainage in the district’s former jurisdiction and work to protect property from flooding, which was done by the district as it built and maintained levees. When the water district was created, it had taxing authority and at the time of its transfer to Sugar Land, there was no outstanding bond indebtedness or any other outstanding debt, but rather money to pass on.
About four years ago the district conveyed all its dams, facilities, improvements, easements, and real property to Sugar Land, when the city purchased them. The balance of what was in the water district’s purview is now in the hands of the city, which will provide water and wastewater services to all residents and businesses that corresponded to the district.
By contrast, another water district in the county, Fort Bend County Water Improvement District No. 2, also created by state statue, remains active as it serves residents and businesses in portions of Fort Bend County, and a small sliver of Houston and Harris County, also in its jurisdiction. Voters in the water district recently passed a $32 million bond referendum for infrastructure replacement and other projects. In April, Fort Bend County WCID No. 2 launched the first surface water treatment plant in Fort Bend County, and is ahead of schedule in meeting state surface water conversion mandates.