Montgomery County Budget Office, flood mitigation concerns: 6 things to know from Montgomery County Commissioners Court, March 20

Montgomery County Commissioners Court meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month.

Montgomery County Commissioners Court meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month.

Montgomery County Commissioners Court discussed various items during its March 20 meeting, including the creation of a budget office and concerns over variances given for septic tanks in flood plains.

1. Commissioners create county budget office
Commissioners unanimously approved creation of a Montgomery County budget office and appointed Amanda Carter as the county's budget officer. Budgetary functions for the county were previously managed by County Auditor Phyllis Martin's department, and commissioners expressed the need to reappropriate budgetary funding from the county auditor's department to the newly created budget office in an upcoming meeting.

2. Agreement with Texas Department of Transportation deferred
Commissioners deferred a resolution related to an advanced funding agreement with the TxDOT related to the TxDOT portion of the Hwy. 249 toll road project.

3. HGAC discusses regional transportation plan
The Houston-Galveston Area Council discussed its 2045 regional transportation plan with the court. The plan includes public outreach in spring, a system analysis in summer and recommendations for a final project list in fall 2018. The final draft of the plan would be available in winter 2019.

4. Land lease agreement approved for Conroe ISD agricultural Education Center
Commissioners approved a land lease agreement with Conroe ISD for 6.6 acres of land to build an Agricultural Education Center in Precinct 1. The facility would be located next to the Montgomery County Fairgrounds and would allow students who live inside the city to house farm animals nearby, Precinct 1 Commissioner Mike Meador said. The students would also have convenient access to the fair grounds, where events like the Montgomery County Fair and Livestock Show take place.

CISD officials said there is no timeline on the project, but that it would be discussed at a future CISD meeting.

4. Flood mitigation concerns voiced over floodplain variances
County commissioners deferred action on two variances that would allow the septic tank of two new homes to be built in the flood plain in Precinct 3. The action came after a discussion with County Engineer Mark Mooney, who told the court about his long-standing concern over the common practice. Mooney said denying the variance would in essence prevent a new home to be built in the flood plain, thus preventing flooding and possible emergency rescues during events, such as Hurricane Harvey and other floods. Commissioners approved the variance for several other septic tanks but agreed to evaluate the subject further as they discuss ongoing flood mitigation efforts.

5. Hwy. 249 land parcel agreement with TxDOT
The authority approved a possession use agreement with TxDOT for six land parcels adjacent to the TxDOT portion of the Hwy. 249 tollway project. The agreement allows TxDOT to begin work on properties before the deeds acquired from property owners for the project are recorded. Precinct 1 Commissioner James Noack was the sole opposition on the vote.