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By Tony Farkas
COLDSPRING — A request from Friends of Hopewell Inc., a community center, for America Rescue Plan Act funds received no interest from the San Jacinto County Commissioners Court on Wednesday.
Lillie Boson of Friends of Hopewell asked the commission to put the measure to some sort of vote, since their application has been essentially ignored since it was made in June.
“We’re here today because we feel like we’re sitting around the rich man’s table waiting for the crumbs to fall,” she said. “What we asked for, compared to what was received by the county, was just small. We would like the commission to pull the application from the table and vote on it.”
Boson said the organization feels as it is not being taken seriously, claiming issues with the construction of a dog pound have gotten more consideration.
“You’ve given excuse after excuse, and we’ve given you our answer,” she said. “The last time we were here, Judge (Fritz) Faulkner said the people would be upset if we gave you the money. What people?”
The application previously was tabled because of questions of the legality of donating to the non-profit organization. At first, it was believed that Friends of Hopewell was associated with Hopewell Church, which would mean it could not receive grant funds. That was later found to be wrong.
Faulkner denied he said people, but instead said the county couldn’t favor one church over another. He also said the court did hold a vote to settle what would be done with the grant funds — $1 million to fix the courthouse, and the rest was split between the precincts to fix roads.
“Other people have had requests, and they haven’t come up here three or four times and keep asking over and over,” Faulkner said. “We haven’t given any money to non-profit organizations.”
No commissioner brought the item to a vote, meaning it was denied.
In other business, the court:
•approved an agreement with Harris County Institute for Forensic Sciences for autopsies;
•approved the canvass of votes for the Nov. 8 general election;
•approved adding a regulation requiring utility companies to obtain permits for work;
•approved the certified tax roll for the county’s general fund;
•approved rehiring James Burgess for the sanitation/compactor part-time position in Precinct 1;
•approved issuing a county credit card for the District Attorney’s Office;
•accepted the audit results from Brooks Watson and Co. showing the county is in good financial standing;
•approved renewing bonds for county elected officials;
•changed operation times on the county’s trash compactors;
•approved county employee participation in the annual Toys for Tots campaign;
•declared a Caterpillar maintainer and filters as salvage to be sold at auction; and
•approved entering a lease for a Caterpillar motor grader for $317,839.40.