Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3475
By: Eiland
County Affairs


Erosion is a problem for many communities along the Texas coast.  The
federal government provides matching funds for erosion control projects,
but projects must compete for local funds before the federal government
will match the funds.  Conservation and improvement districts are created
by the authority provided by the Texas Constitution.  A conservation
district will allow the communities on the western part of Galveston Island
to secure local funds to compete for federal matching funds for erosion
control projects. House Bill 3475 creates the West Galveston Island
Conservation District. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency or institution. 


House Bill 3475 amends law to create the West Galveston Island Conservation
District (SECTION 1). The bill defines "district" for the purposes of the
Act as the Bolivar Conservation District (district) (SECTION 3).  The bill
provides that the district is governed by a board of five directors (board)
and sets forth provisions regarding the appointment, qualifications, and
terms of the directors as well as the administration of the board (SECTIONS

The bill sets forth the general powers of the district and authorizes the
district to issue bonds and impose ad valorem taxes upon approval by the
voters of the district, and impose assessments upon approval by the county
commissioners court (SECTIONS 19, 26, 42, 44, 46, and 47).  The bill
authorizes the board to impose a special assessment on property in an area
that receives a special benefit from an improvement project or service
(SECTION 26).  The bill prohibits the district from imposing an assessment
on the property, equipment, or facilities of a public utility (SECTION 40).
The bill sets forth specific powers and limitations of the district
including the authority to borrow money and add or exclude territory
(SECTIONS 8, 9, and 20).  The bill authorizes the district to contract with
a political subdivision, corporation, or other person to accomplish the
purposes of the district (SECTIONS 19, 20, and 53).  The bill prohibits the
district from exercising the power of eminent domain, and authorizes the
county to exercise its power of eminent domain to implement a district
facility or improvement (SECTION 22).  The bill authorizes the board to
adopt and enforce reasonable rules and regulations governing the
administration of the district and its programs and projects (SECTION 24).
The bill prohibits the board from financing improvement projects or
services unless a written petition has been filed with the board signed by
at least 25 district property owners (SECTION 29).  The bill authorizes the
board to issue temporary notes to pay the costs of an improvement project
or service and issue bonds on completion (SECTION 45).  The bill provides
for the dissolution of the district (SECTIONS 50 and 51).  The bill
authorizes a municipality, county, or other political subdivision of the
state to contract with the district to implement a project of the district
or aid and assist the district in providing authorized services (SECTION


On passage, or if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act
takes effect September 1, 2001.