Hurricane Harvey Update (March 8, 2018) - Seagate Condominium Bulkhead Removal

This Posting is to clarify and supplement the information provided in the robo-call, text message, or correspondence you may have received from City of El Lago Mayor Mark Briggs on the morning of 02/28/2018 at about 10:40 AM and to the information provided in his undated official City letter that began arriving in homes on 03/07/2018. The District very much regrets your being subject to the divisive atmosphere engendered by such correspondence and would like you to know that it will continue to do its job and not make any claims that either magnify its accomplishments or detract from that of others. The District very much agrees with the Mayor when he stated in his undated letter, “In such a small town where we should be able to work together on these issues and put aside small town politics – this is a disappointment.” Yes Mr. Mayor, indeed it is.

With respect to the Mayor’s claims regarding the purported inaction on the part of the District, we would invite you to inspect the Detailed Timeline of the District’s Actions since Hurricane Harvey substantiating its timing, persistence, and diligence on the matter. He has also at least twice now claimed substantial credit for having the bulkhead removed and for being the primary catalyst for resolving the issue; however, as only a minor peripheral participant on the matter apart from the divisiveness and rhetoric, he was and is not aware of the working details surrounding all of the prerequisites and actions necessary to completely ensure proper drainage was fully restored. Yes, the bulkhead was removed as stated; however, the culvert remained at least 50% blocked at the time of his proclamations by caked bulkhead stabilizing material and concrete as well as by other obstructions that also need to be removed. In addition, as of this correspondence, workers were not readily able to remove it and more work needs to be done, all details lost on the Mayor every bit as much as the engineering and legal prerequisites have been for him throughout this process in spite of our attempts to inform him of such.

We would like you to assure you that the District will continue to work toward full resolution of the issue and is proceeding with its court case to ensure that the culvert is ultimately cleared of ALL obstructions and to ensure that it will never happen again. Please know that all of the actions in progress at the end of February and in early March to have the bulkhead removed and obstructions cleared were precipitated by the District’s actions to date and its court case, which led to the District’s quick and decisive attainment of a Temporary Restraining Order mandating immediate removal of the bulkhead and obstructions. Ultimately, it was this court order obtained solely by the District that finally forced action on the matter where recalcitrance previously existed in spite of claims by the Mayor to the contrary. Indeed, as of the court hearing on 02/22/2018, the Seagate Attorney confirmed during arguments that Seagate was still unable to locate the contractor who installed the bulkhead and had no immediate plans for its removal.

Accompanying this posting is Correspondence the District received from TXDOT which includes among other items documentation of the timing of the court order (February 22, 2018 at 2:40 PM) and when Seagate finally decided to take action to remove the bulkhead (February 22, 2018 at 6:56 PM) and a note thanking the District for its help in providing critical information to TXDOT.

The District would also like to thank the following individuals for their substantive actions and assistance thus far toward reaching a final resolution to this emergency.

Messrs. David Baker and John Riley, District Operating Superintendent and Foreman, respectively
Ms. Sabrina Herod and Ms. Erika Pennington, District Office Manager and Staff Member, respectively
Messrs. Davis Bonham Jr. and Paul Radich, Smith, Murdaugh, Little & Bonham, L.L.P. Attorneys
Messrs. Jim Ainsworth, Ron Anderson, and Jonathan Liu, A&S Engineers, Inc.
Mr. Quincy Allen, TXDOT District Engineer
Ms. Melody Galland, TXDOT Southeast Area Engineer
Mr. Larry Whittington, TXDOT SE Harris Maintenance Supervisor
Mr. Ray Castillo, TXDOT SE Harris Section Assistant Supervisor
Mr. Jack Morman, Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner
Mr. Arcadio Avalos Jr., Harris County Precinct 2 Director of Road & Bridge Operations
Mr. Delon Guy, Harris County Precinct 2 Road & Bridge Genoa Camp Superintendent

In this emergency as well as in our daily responsibilities, all of us at the District endeavor to provide the best services possible, all while keeping water, sewage, and tax rates as low as possible. Indeed, our tax rates were lowered over the last 17 of 19 years and have consistently been among the lowest in the county, all while making major infrastructure improvements, and our financial audits over at least the last 13 years since 2006 (inclusive) have consistently resulted in “unqualified/unmodified” opinions, which is the best possible result a government entity can receive for an audit. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you.

The rest is left up to the citizenry as to the veracity of the information provided from both sources.

Sincerely on behalf of the entire District staff,

Your community centered Board of Directors