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Barker Lake Flood Control Proposal
Harris County has approached Barker Lake for some potential improvements in our community to try and prevent future flooding should we have a Harvey like event again.
This includes:
  • Additional street drainage and upgrading of existing underground pipes/drains
  • Converting our lake into a retention pond rather than an amenity lake
    • Details for this include:
      • Drainage from the street into the lake
      • Lowering the base of the lake to being 7ft lower than existing
The Board had lot of questions about this, and in January we shared these to Harris County, these included but not limited to:
  • What is the redesign of the lake going to look like, and asked for an artists rendition for us to share with our homeowners?
  • Existing wildlife in the Lake needs to be saved, and re-introduced
  • There needs to still be access to the lake for our homeowners to enjoy the lake and fish etc
  • Replacement of our lake fountain so that it can still be enjoyed from the homes around the lake
  • Beautification of the area, significant planting/trees, water reeds/grasses around the waters edge
  • Redesign or demolition of the old water fall as this will not be in keeping with the new design.
  • Who is responsible for the maintenance of the lake going forward, and we are requesting that it be MUD District 196.
As of this time, we have not received answers to these questions despite following up with Harris County.
At the time of the January conversation, the project was not funded.  The hope is that grant money from the government and co-funding from our MUD District will fund the project.  Days before our April Board Meeting, the MUD District pledged their support for the project.
Various surveys have been completed by different agencies around the lake and on our street.  Unfortunately, over 90% of these were done without the knowledge of the Board and Community.  The Board only found out about them through a Homeowners passing comment, or us seeing them working in the community.
As of this time the Board is still waiting for information to provide a concrete/firm proposal to our community – as there are still so many questions and we wanted to be able to answer as many of those as possible with real answers not “we don’t know”, which is where we are at the moment. 
The Board has not made a decision on this project, and will be getting input from the community as part of this.   We have granted verbal permission for them to start preliminary work, such as surveys and that we potentially have an interest in this project being completed so they could approach MUD District 196 for funding.
Harris County asked us for permission to start the process of purchasing the easement in case the community agreed to do this project, then the documents will be ready to be signed. This process takes many months and Harris County is fully aware that just because we agreed they can start that process, that it DOES NOT mean we agreed to or approved the project.  Harris County is also occurring the costs for the document preparation at their own risks. The easement purchase is NOT APPROVED to give to Harris County even though they have started the process. 
To give full/final approval to this project, the Board needs to sign a legal contract for Harris County/MUD District 196 to purchase the Easement to our Lake.  THIS HAS NOT BEEN DONE.
This will not be done without input from our Community members, and we feel that this is in the best interests of Barker Lake.
At the end of the day the main questions on this are:
  1. Is this needed for our community, and if we do this will it prevent the likelihood of flooding?
  2. If approved, major beautification needs to take place
  3. If we choose not to do this, how will this affect flood zoning for our community, and therefore the need/requirement and increase in premiums/cost for flood insurance for our homeowners.
  4. This project has 2 impacts, the look of it for our residents around the lake, and larger picture of potentially preventing 305 homes from flooding.