Travis County to spend $2.5M to buy out homes in Thoroughbred Farms

AUSTIN (KXAN) -- Both Travis and Hays County have signed on to work together to identify and address flood risks in the area.

One of the main areas the two counties want to work on is the Onion Creek Watershed, which spans both jurisdictions. Over the next year and a half, county officials will work with stakeholders to compile a report that examines whether a flood control district should be established for the Onion Creek Watershed. The report will look at potential funding sources for the district as well as the protection of the public's health and safety.

"The secondary networks and relationships that will emerge from this planning effort will pay dividends for years to come while improving the safety and quality of life for those who live, work and transit through Travis and Hays County," said Josh Davies, the Travis County Executive of Emergency Services, of the Interlocal Agreement.

In addition to identifying long-term solutions with Hays County, the Travis County Commissioners Court has approved three flood mitigation projects that will better assist in controlling flooding, including $500,000 for the design of the Arroyo Doble/Twin Creeks Drainage Retrofit, $2.6 million for the Thoroughbred Farms Drainage Retrofit and $2.5 million for a 14 home buyout on the creek side of Citation Avenue in Thoroughbred Farms.

From October 2015 through May 2016, the Thoroughbred Farms neighborhood flooded twice. During the Halloween floods of 2015, three people died when they were swept away in flood waters from Dry Creek in southeast Travis County. A Travis County spokesperson said the buyouts will begin as soon as the funds become available, which should be mid-May. Offers could be made as early as June.

One homeowner who lives in the Thoroughbred Farms neighborhood told KXAN last summer that a buyout is out of the question for her since she already put money back into her damaged home to fix it.

Travis County and Emergency Services District #11 will host a community forum on May 17 at  6 p.m. at ESD#11 at 9010 Elroy Rd. to give residents in southeast Travis County an update on what flood mitigation projects have been completed since the 2015 floods.


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