THE CITY RESPONDS TO PREVIOUS INSITE POST: IS FIFTH WARD BEING IGNORED BY THE CITY?

INTRODUCING THE MARKET STREET GULLY: IT’S TAKING A TOLL ON THE COMMUNITY!



HERE’S THE REPONSE FROM THE SPOKESPERSON WES JOHNSON AT THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS TO THE INSITE:

We have been aware of and have been addressing the current drainage issue since late 2004 not 10 years as the citizen may have told you. We have also been working with Harris County (the entity which has purview over HCFC ditches) in order to address the drainage issues. Members of our staff met with then Council Member Galloway (in November of 2004). C/M Galloway had a letter from the County’s Art Storey acknowledging the issue but also indicating a lack of funding.

Not only has the City cleared the ditch of weeds, grass and trash on more than one occasion, but we have determined that the ditch will need to be lowered (possible as much as 4 feet) in order optimized the ditch usage. A consultant is establishing legal boundaries for the ditch. Once that data is received, we will determine the best course of action.

Wes Johnson

THE ORIGINAL POST BELOW:
The residents on Market street in the Fifth Ward community say it’s been an ongoing problem for the last decade and they can’t seem to get the city of Houston to address the issue. The problem: A winding gully that drives under market street. Residents say it’s filled with trash and debri while its banks erode away just a bit more during each heavy rain. Residents like James Booker says it’s in part to blame for the flooding he’s endured in Fifth Ward at his home. Booker says since he built the two story house on Market he’s been having unwanted water running under his front door. He’s flooded out three times costing him thousands. Those who live on Market say they’ve called 311, the Mayor’s office, and Public Works to no avail. They say with the erosion children could be seriously injured by the self widening waterway. Council member Jarvis Johnson is hoping to get something done about the Market Street Gully but he says it will take time. It was two years ago when The Insite interviewed jouncing predecessor Carol Mims Galloway about the same issue. She says the city was dragging its feet on the issue back then. It’s now 2006 and so far there has been no significant progress on addressing the problem according to residents. Meanwhile, Booker, an active US serviceman, says he received a letter while in Iraq from the Mayor’s office promising a solution. He says he’s still waiting while sweeping the water out of his front door on Market street. The Insite is hoping to get a response from Mayor Bill White’s office as well as The Department of Public Works.

(AS FIRST SEEN ON FOX 26 NEWS AT 9PM)