By Travis Gumphrey
CONTROVERSIAL legislation that will restructure Gulf Coast Water Authority was approved by both chambers of the state legislature this week after a crucial amendment prevented Galveston County interests being forced into a minority.
House bill 4168 takes majority control of the county’s water supply from Galveston and reduces its influence to 50 per cent, equal to that of Fort Bend and Brazoria counties combined.
As reported in The Post on May 17, before its amendment, the bill had many in Galveston County, including water control district 1 manager David Paulissen, upset that other counties would have more of a say in decisions about the supply of water that mostly affects Galveston County.
As initially proposed, Brazoria lawmaker Dennis Bonnen’s bill would have restructured the nine-member board to include four directors from Galveston County, two from Fort Bend, and three from Brazoria.
At present, Galveston has seven members and the other counties both have one, giving our county a large-majority say in the board’s decisions.
However, senator Larry Taylor, whose district includes Galveston and Brazoria counties, proposed an amendment to expand the number of members to 10, giving Galveston County five members, equaling the proposed total of five from Brazoria and Fort Bend.