top of page

Water Bills, Eldridge & HCAD Voting

Water Bill Issues 

At our most recent Memorial Super Neighborhood meeting, Councilmember Sallie Alcorn (At Large Position 5) spoke to us about the budget and other matters including water bills. (A copy of her PowerPoint on the budget is linked on this page. Feel free to sign up for the MSN newsletters here). Today Katie Shelton of CM Alcorn's office provided more detailed information:

  • Sewer credit

    • After the freeze earlier this year, Mayor Whitmire implemented a program to bill customers their December 2023 average or their 12 month average, whichever was lower. Customers received a credit on the backend if their usage was higher than either of these averages.

  • How to tell if accurate read vs estimated read?

  • Every single-family residence will receive an estimated bill whether the residence has a working remote read device or not. Estimated bills started April 1, and residents will see the estimate on their May bills.

  • There will be a notation on your water bill when your bill is estimated.

  • To check if you remote read device is working please visit

  • How many estimated months should we expect?

  • If your remote read device is working, you should expect to get an actual usage bill (not an estimate) in about 90 days. If your remote read device is not working, it will be replaced by the end of 2024 (HPW’s goal), and you will receive an actual usage bill about 60 days after the new device is installed and verified working.

  • What is the timeline for all of this?

  • As of last week 8,758 meter read devices replaced. HPW target was 7,450. (Please see chart a the bottom of the email for deployment plan)

  • What if you had wrong readings for more than 36 months?

  • If this is the case, it will be borne out when the remote read device is installed and verified working. Then we will know your exact usage. If there is a substantial difference from your estimate, you will not be charged, but if the difference is in your favor, you will receive a credit.

  • Irrigation and domestic meter - are there two separate reads for both?

  • Each meter has their own remote read device. Your irrigation meter will have a remote read device, as well as your domestic meter.

  • Other cities call in the meter reads themselves, is Houston looking into this?

  • When a customer calls and says the number they see on the meter does not match their bill a representative will be sent out to that residence.

  • Houston does not accept call-in meter reads when calculating a water bill and has no plans to do so. Customer reads are always verified.

  • How many total devices in the city?

  • 500k residential meters (including commercial). Of that 500k, 350k single-family residential. HPW is focusing on single-family residential first.

  • About 125,000 single-family residential remote read devices have failed

  • How do our rates compare to other cities?

    • HPW reports that Houston’s water rates are lower than most other cities. CM Alcorn has requested a chart showing this and will pass along when she receives. According to HPW, Houston’s lower rates led to underinvestment in infrastructure and thus, the consent decree with the EPA. This is one of the reasons for the consent decree.


Wild Lillies on the Bayou

(April 25, 2024)


Construction on Eldridge

(Or Lack Thereof) 

I am sure that many of you are wondering what is happening on Eldridge between the Katy Freeway and Memorial (or more accurately, why is nothing happening). You can find out about this project and sign up for future notifications here.

BRH Garver, the contractor for the project, declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy in mid-September and the City subsequently terminated the contract. As such, all construction activity was suspended September 18, 2023. Since it is Chapter 7, that means BRH Garver is being liquidated and not reorganized. The City is still in the process of hiring replacement contractors. The City says work will resume in June, which means a span of at least nine months of absolutely no construction.

For now, the City is simply maintaining "critical public safety items such as protecting open shafts and keeping the traffic control devices in place". Even so, the "Left Lane Closed Ahead" sign should have been removed months ago and still hasn't, though we have asked the City to do so. 

The project started in the spring of 2022 and was scheduled for 18 months (540 days), which would have been last year. The City says at this point the project is only 60% complete. So expect another year after construction starts for the project to be finished. I still can't understand why the project wasn't done in sections as opposed to opening basically everything up for almost the whole time. So Park Row and Eldridge have been impacted for most of the time period with work not being done in different sections for some time.


Voting for HCAD Members

(Election Day is Saturday, May 4) 

For the first time in history, we will vote on candidates for three new board positions on the Harris County Appraisal District (HCAD) Board of Directors, which oversees property evaluations.

The new positions come after Texas voters approved Proposition 4 in November, which added four-year terms for members of appraisal entities in counties populated with more than 75,000 people. (In Harris County, Proposition 4 had a 78.26% approval among voters.) Until now, all members have been appointed by the local taxing entities represented by HCAD.

The board of directors is the governing body of HCAD, which determines annual property values used by local taxing entities to set their property tax rates and budgets. According to the Houston Chronicle on Friday, "Of the values already sent, appraisal district [HCAD] data shows about 13% of homeowners saw no change, 48% saw decreases in appraised value and around 40% of homeowners saw increases." I would imagine that most of us fall within that third category.

While the three elected board members do not hear appraisal hearings, they will have sway over appointments to appraisal review boards, the bodies that do hear citizen requests for a reevaluation of their property’s appraisal. At least two of the elected members must approve any appointment to the review board, essentially giving two aligned board members the ability to veto any appointment. So this election is very important in determining the direction of HCAD. Although officially non-partisan, each of the three races has at least one noted Republican and one noted Democrat.

The closest voting locations for Saturday appear to be:

1. Westside High School – Library

14201 Briar Forest Drive

Houston, TX 77077

2. Nottingham Park Building – Meeting Room (Also for early voting, which ends tomorrow)

926 Country Place Drive

Houston, TX 77079

I'm Dog Tired After Delivering All Those Directories

Greg Sergesketter

MTHA Rep. to Memorial SN

815 Elk Run Circle


April 29, 2024


bottom of page