County seeks agreement on flooding issues


Matagorda County Commissioners approved an intergovernmental agreement that would allow the county to start looking into flooding issues caused by the Colorado River.

“This would allow the cities and counties on the Colorado River to work together towards coming up with a flood mapping system,” said Matagorda County Judge Nate McDonald. 

This allows the county to provide grant funds budgeted from one or more Texas Water Development Board, Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery programs to complete studies and construction activities to design and implement a flood early warning system and general flood risk management activities within the boundaries of Matagorda County, the city of Bay City, Wharton County, the city of Wharton, Colorado County and the city of Columbus.

This project has been one of McDonald’s goals since the arrival of Hurricane Harvey on the Gulf Coast. 

“I spent five days and nights in the emergency center sleeping on a six-foot cot. During that time, we tried to make the best decisions we could make with the information that was being passed on to us at that time,” McDonald said. “Our biggest goal during that time was to protect the health of this county’s residents. Matagorda County lost not one life during that storm and that was very important to me. I know we created a lot of stress for folks but at the end of the day, we had to preserve human life and we did just that.”

He pointed out that some of the money from the grants awarded would be used to build a better flood mapping system for this county. That was something that was missing during Harvey’s arrival and could have helped during the storm.

“That will help us understand how the water is coming down the Colorado River and how it comes down in real time,” McDonald said. “We are going to build a better mouse trap.”

McDonald said the passing of this agreement allows him to place “a little bit of pressure” on the other counties and cities to do the same so we can get the ball rolling with it.”

Commissioners also approved a public hearing set for Oct. 29 at 9:45 a.m. concerning the establishment of a reinvestment zone for tax abatement upon the request of Air Liquide Inc.

Air Liquide is a company that delivers innovative gas solutions and technologies to a wide range of customers, driving their performance and helping them reduce their environmental impact. 

The reinvestment zone would be located off of FM 3057 near the OXEA Chemical Facility.

Their business includes: Industrial gas production – oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and rare gases; specialty gases and advanced precursor materials; gas supply modes – cylinder, bulk, micro bulk, pipeline delivery, as well as on-site production; gas handling equipment; gas and chemical management; analytical and laboratory services; cogeneration – steam and electricity; research and Development – Delaware Research & Technology Center and engineering and construction.

In other county action, commissioners approved to accept a contribution from the city of Bay City in the amount of $1,980 for expenses towards the Matagorda County Household Hazardous Waste Collection event set for Oct. 27.

Commissioners also approved the declaration of three vehicles as salvage. These vehicles were seized during raids conducted by the Matagorda County Joint Task Force and the funds raised will be placed in their account.

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