North & East Texas
Angelina County received two grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for radio system improvements.
Bell County conducted a free clinic offering legal consultation for veterans by the county’s bar association and young lawyers group.
Cass County Commissioners Court voted to spend $140,000 with Tejas Energy Solution of Longview to install solar energy panels at the law enforcement and justice center. The project is expected to save the county 20 percent to 30 percent in energy costs.
Cooke County received a grant of $114,510 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Grayson County has been designated “storm ready” by the National Weather Service. Meteorologist Mark Fox told commissioners that 4 percent of cities and 1 percent of counties in the United States have obtained the designation. “Residents can be assured that the county and the cities are as ready as they can be for emergencies,” he told the Sherman Herald Democrat.
Hopkins County Commissioners Court voted to refinance more than $2.1 million in bond indebtedness and save almost $500,000.
Houston County held dedication ceremonies for its justice center, a new $12.8 million building that includes a 144-bed jail, justice of the peace offices, and law enforcement offices.
Leon County Commissioners Court awarded $1,000 to a toy drive for children of men and women in the U.S. Army stationed at Fort Hood.
Liberty County Commissioners Court approved the county’s monthly fire protection obligation with the county’s VFDs of about $50,000, twice the budgeted amount because of increased service calls.
Milam County Commissioners Court voted to award $1,800 to the Rockdale Senior Citizens Center to help pay utility costs.
Montgomery County Commissioners Court approved a contract with Florida-based GEO Care to manage the county’s new 100-bed mental health treatment facility scheduled to open March 1.
Rusk County received a donation of $1,000 from Devon Energy to help combat oilfield theft. Commissioners also hired the county’s first public health coordinator, and they voted to close parts of several county roads at the request of Luminant, which owns and operates three of the five largest coal mines in Texas.
San Augustine County conducted rededication ceremonies after restoration of its courthouse originally built in 1927 on one of the first public squares in Texas. Funds included a grant of $3.8 million from the Texas Historical Commission.
Austin County held an “open house” for its jail remodeling and expansion. The $4.1 million project included the addition of 53 beds, an exercise area, kitchen and sally port.
Bee County Commissioners Court approved $10,817 in improvements in courtroom acoustics by Sound Distributors of Corpus Christi.
Bexar County Commissioners Court approved a donation of $60,000 from WellMed Foundation to fund senior citizens programs that received smaller funding in the county budget.
Brazoria County reached an agreement with the Texas Department of Transpiration for a $47 million expansion of Highway 36 in West Columbia, Brazoria and Port Freeport. The county expects $41 million to be reimbursed within 20 years.
Burleson County awarded $24,000 to the Burleson County Economic Development Council for business and industrial recruitment.
Burnet County Commissioners Court approved a 25-year transportation plan, which includes eight major road projects. Judge Donna Klaeger told the Burnet Bulletin, “Having this plan gives us a position of priority when the economy bounces back and money becomes available.”
Chambers County received $36 million in federal funds from the Texas Department of Rural Affairs as reimbursement for Hurricane Ike recovery projects.
Colorado County received a federal grant of $275,000 to upgrade the law enforcement radio system, approved hazard zoning regulations at Wells Airport, and received a grant of $350,000 for improvements to the Rock Island water system. The county also has a new VFD in Oakridge Ranch.
Comal County received a $10 million federal grant for the Krueger Canyon Dam, a new $16 million project stalled since October that is designed to reduce flooding in the Dry Comal Creek watershed.
Dimmit County received a grant of $500,000 from the Texas Department of Rural Affairs for rehabilitation or reconstruction of homes in the county’s colonia areas.
Fort Bend County Commissioners Court approved an agreement with Concentra Health Services for a primary care clinic and wellness program for employees, dependents and retired employees.
Harris County Commissioners Court approved the purchase of voting equipment for $19 million to replace machines, booths and accessories destroyed in a warehouse fire in August 2010.
Hays County Commissioners Court approved the purchase for $5 million of 1,000 acres of the Nicholson Ranch for U.S. Fish and Wildlife-approved habitat conservation property as a habitat for the endangered golden-cheeked warbler. Commissioners also awarded $1.7 million of remaining park bond funds for Harrison Ranch Park.
Jim Wells County Judge Arnoldo Saenz has been reappointed to the national transportation steering committee of the National Association of Counties.
Kendall County conducted groundbreaking ceremonies for Kreutzberg Canyon Natural Area, which is expected to open in spring 2011.
Lavaca County Commissioners Court awarded a contract of $151,772 to MTC of Inez for a 350-foot communications tower for the sheriff’s office. Three federal grants will fund the project. Commissioners also honored Margaret Kallus, who was named the state’s 2010 County Tax Assessor-Collector of the Year.
Nueces County Commissioners Court awarded a contract of $318,400 to Capturion Network for construction of an electronic marquee 60 feet tall at Borchard Regional Fairgrounds.
San Patricio County Commissioners Court renewed the county’s contract with Crowder-Gulf Disaster Recovery & Debris Management for emergency cleanup after natural disasters.
Travis County Commissioners Court approved the county’s share of $20,000 for an economic study of Lake Travis. Cities, school districts and chambers of commerce will also help fund the study.
Wharton County Commissioners Court approved a contract with Polasek Construction of El Campo for renovations of a building that will become the county’s Annex D in Wharton. The building that formerly housed a restaurant was purchased for $320,000.
Willacy County has increased from $3,000 to $5,000 its annual grant to Amigos del Valle, which provides food and housing to the elderly. Commissioners also voted to spend $7,500 to purchase a narcotics dog for the sheriff’s department.
Williamson County Commissioners Court voted to use the remaining $76 million from the 2006 voter-approved road bonds for new road projects. The county was also honored by the Texas Recreation and Parks Society for its Learn to Fish program that attracted 400 children and parents.
Andrews County received a donation of two K-9 drug dogs from CRS Diagnostic Services. The Andrews County News said the county is keeping one for its sheriff’s office and donating the second dog to Dawson County.
Archer County opened its new law enforcement center, which includes offices for the sheriff’s department, an emergency operations center, and a 48-bed jail. Construction by Dinosaur Valley Construction of Glen Rose was funded with $5.8 million in general obligation bonds.
Clay County received a grant of $250,000 from the Texas Department of Rural Affairs for improvements for the Charlie Water Supply Corp.
Comanche County was awarded a communications grant of $67,929 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for the purchase of radios.
Dickens County transferred all inmates from its correctional center in December at least temporarily after CEC Civigenics, which operated the facility, said it was ceasing management Dec. 31, 2010.
El Paso County held groundbreaking ceremonies for expansion of its juvenile justice center, including two new courtrooms, offices and expanded parking.
Gaines County relocated its offices temporarily during a $6.98 million renovation of the three-story courthouse.
Hall County Commissioners Court approved the purchase for $3,479 of four Taser electronic control devices.
Hardeman County Commissioners Court approved matching funds totaling about $73,000 for two bridge projects of the Texas Department of Transportation.
Hemphill County Commissioners Court awarded a contract of $1.9 million to A&S General Contractors, of Amarillo, for expansion and renovation of the law enforcement center.
Jeff Davis County has been designated as a “film friendly” community in a cooperative program with the Texas Film Commission to enhance its appeal for film companies. “I was surprised at how few communities in the state have sought this,” chamber director Randy Kinzie told commissioners in his report on the economic impact.
Montague County Commissioners Court awarded a contract of $19,460 to Commercial Industrial Electronics for an electronic locking system at the courthouse.
Parker County Commissioners Court awarded a contract of about $3.9 million to Jay Mills Contracting for the first phase of a loop around the west side of Weatherford.
Pecos County Commissioners Court awarded a contract of $118,738 to Venegas Contractors for a game fence at Fort Stockton-Pecos County Airport.
Shackelford County Commissioners Court named Dinosaur Valley Construction of Glen Rose as construction manager for the county’s new law enforcement center.
Tom Green County contracted with Library Design Systems of Houston for $37,000 for the 10-day move into its new library building expected to open about March 1.
Ward County Commissioners Court approved $120,890 for a brush truck for the Wickett Volunteer Fire Department.
Winkler County received a grant of $5,498 from the Texas Forest Service for the Wink Volunteer Fire Department and approved the purchase of tires for $8,000 for the VFD.
Wise County Commissioners Court approved the creation of a second county court-at-law at an annual cost of about $240,782. The Wise County Messenger said upon approval by the state it is expected to handle primarily family cases. The county also received two homeland security grants of $175,000 and $498,000.
Young County Commissioners Court approved new guidelines for tax abatements in anticipation of two wind farms that may be built in the county and increased the size of a tax reinvestment zone from 2,000 to 2,800 acres. H – Compiled by Garner Roberts