When it’s flooding, it’s too late to prepare for it, and good preparation requires adequate funding. One of the largest challenges facing our Drainage District today is the fact that we are providing drainage and flood mitigation structures in an area that is nearly four times larger than the area that we are receiving revenue from. All of our revenue comes from maintenance and operations taxes which are paid by an area which is much smaller than the area where we are providing services.
To fix this problem for the good of the community, the Drainage District has proposed annexing an area north of Cuero “North Zone” and an area south of Cuero “South Zone”. Maps of these areas are located here. The District has been reaching out to property owners in both areas, seeking signatures on a petition. The petition is to the Board of Directors of the District, asking them to hold a public hearing on adding those areas to the District’s political boundary.
Decades of under-funding has resulted in the District not having enough funds for:
- day-to-day operations and maintenance
- much-needed capacity upgrades to its current channels
- saving up for much-needed capital improvements
- debris removal from all channels after Hurricane Harvey
- crucial engineering studies for planning and more accurate floodplain mapping
Because the District’s entire watershed has not been inside its political boundary, thousands of landowners in the Cuero area have been receiving services which others are paying for. While none of the landowners were aware of this situation before now, shining a spotlight on this issue has created an opportunity for all people being served to share in the cost of those services. The District’s tax rate is just under 6.7 cents per $100 in valuation. This means that a property valued at $100,000 would pay just $67 to support over 20 miles of drainage channels, and two watershed dam sites. The condition of that infrastructure is vitally important to those with property in and around Cuero.
The District would like to hold a public hearing on the idea of annexing the areas labeled “North Zone” and “South Zone”. To bring this issue to a public hearing, enough landowners inside those Zones must petition the District. If, after hearing from the public at such a hearing, the District’s Board of Directors finds that it is practical and feasible and in the interest of the public to annex one or both of those Zones, then the issue would then go to a vote in November. At that time, the voters in each area can vote on whether to pay a maintenance and operations tax to support the services they are receiving. Only if that vote is successful would the Zones be annexed.
As a matter of practicality, the Drainage District cannot continue to provide services without receiving enough revenue to provide those services. Landowners typically ask us how this affects their property if the area is annexed or not. The District is happy to talk to anyone interested in this issue. Our hours in the office have been extended while we work on this issue which is so crucial to safety in our area. Please see our contact information and feel free to contact us anytime – days, nights and weekends are all fine. We also work to respond to all emails as quickly as we possibly can. The email for Beth Parker, General Manager is firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are almost out of time to finish gathering signatures. Monday, August 19, 2019 is the latest day to turn in signatures. The District needs your help to fix this problem. We hope that you will visit our “Annexation” page to see maps and specific instructions for signing the petition. We greatly appreciate the time you have just spent to read about these problems.
DeWitt County Drainage District No. 1
DeWitt County Drainage District No. 1 (DCDD1) is a political subdivision of the State of Texas, operating within a jurisdictional area similar to that of Cuero, Texas. We are committed to improving our ability to efficiently manage excess storm water, and to be proactive in our approach to this goal. Our mission is:
“To Provide, Improve and Maintain the Drainage Systems within our jurisdiction,
resulting in increased safety and enhanced quality of life within our community.”
DeWitt County Drainage District No. 1 was established in 1914 as a result of a petition by area residents. It was formed under the authority of Article 2602 of the Revised Civil Statutes of Texas of 1911, as a public utility and to benefit the public health. Petitioners noted that the area consisted of lands which were low and flat, with very little if any natural slope or drainage. The public health was impaired by mosquitos, malaria and other pests, and public highways were often impassable and required great expense and labor to maintain.
Acquiring right of ways for the DCDD1 began in 1915 and has continued in the years since, during times of upgrades, repairs and changes to the District’s facilities. Initially, the District channelized the Gohlke Creek (west side of Cuero) and the Gohlke Creek tributary (east side of Cuero). Additional lateral channels were created to carry water into those two channels, which converge south of Cuero and drain into the Guadalupe River.
The District performs drainage activities throughout its local watershed; an area which encompasses more than 13,000 acres. Incorporated and unincorporated areas rely heavily on DCDD1 to provide outfall drainage and flood relief.
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