County buyout program stalls
By Tony Farkas
COLDSPRING — Funds for a Hurricane Harvey Recovery Buyout Program have not yet been released, meaning there are no funds available to purchase homes that were damaged in the deluge.
At the San Jacinto County Commissioners Court meeting on Wednesday, Tyler Smith of GrantWorks said that his prediction of having the funds at this time fell flat, and funds to buy the homes submitted to the program are not yet available.
Smith said the paperwork reviewal process took longer than expected.
According the General Land Office, the funds should be released by May 28, and then GrantWorks will begin scheduling closings, starting with the most vocal people first, he said.
“Everything is ready to go; we just need the money,” Smith said.
In other business, the county:
•approved a contract with Polk County Landfill, in which the fuel surcharge went up 10 percent, but the flat fee per dump was changed to tonnage, which could save money;
•approved the disbursement of $449,973 in ARPA funds for various road projects;
•proclaimed May 14-20 as National Law Enforcement Week;
•approved the annual materials bid from Adams Contracting for road materials at $27 per ton, but will rebid contracted services since the only bid came in without a name;
•approved Sam Pierce as a reserve deputy with the Precinct 2 Constable’s Office;
•approved a depository bank contract with People’s State Bank;
•approved the disbursement of $82,351.69 budgeted for the Emergency Services District following the required advertising time of 45 days; and
•discussed the necessary expenses for the Innovation Center, which will include recurring costs such as cleaning and utilities, estimated at $29,817 annually, as well as furnishing the building, which is estimated to be $72,451.
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