AUSTIN, Texas — The biggest city on the Texas’ most dangerous border could get an infusion of new building material thanks to a new initiative by Texas A&M University.
State Rep. Jim McComb has introduced a bill to the Texas Legislature that would add a new law allowing the university to sell surplus materials to help improve Houston’s water quality.
McCombs office told The Hill the measure would be up for a vote on the House floor in the coming weeks.
The bill comes after a federal court ruled in May that the city of Houston is violating the National Historic Preservation Act when it sells surplus materials from its buildings.
“It’s the biggest city that’s in Texas on the most dangerous stretch of the border and the most vulnerable, and it’s a place where people have a lot of anxiety and a lot in common,” McComb said.
If approved, the new law would also allow Texas A & M to buy up to 10 percent of the materials from the city.
This is a big deal because Houston is a major city with over 5.6 million residents, according to the city’s data, which is just over half the state’s population.
It’s also important to remember that Houston was the first city to get its water supply piped in.
According to the Houston Water Department, the city gets 95 percent of its water from the Trinity River.
A&M’s new bill would add to the state law that has made it illegal for Houston to use any of its city or county water to sell materials.
To comply with the new legislation, McComb’s bill would require the university and other city and county governments to send out notice to residents informing them that they cannot sell materials at home, except in the city or counties where the materials are needed.
For example, if the university uses materials from Texas A M and one of the city and counties has a drought emergency, it would have to notify residents.
If the materials were used for other uses outside of the water system, they would be exempt from the new city and/or county law.
The university would also have to make sure it complies with the city laws.
Water is one of many areas where the city has struggled to deal with the drought and has faced major costs in repairs.
With the city in a state of emergency, the university has been forced to build two new schools.