Fort Bend County extends emergency declaration through April 30

Fort Bend County
Fort Bend County has extended its emergency declaration through April 30. (Community Impact Staff)

Fort Bend County has extended its emergency declaration through April 30. (Community Impact Staff)

Update 8:41 a.m. April 2

Fort Bend County Judge KP George amended the “Stay Home to Save Lives” to be effective through April 30, according to an April 1 press release.

He first issued the order March 24, and it was set to expire April 3.

The amended order abides by Gov. Greg Abbott's March 31 executive order which defined essential services and limits local orders, per the release. George said he also amended the order based on input from the community and medical experts.

Update 4:08 p.m. March 31

Amid coronavirus concerns, the Fort Bend County Commissioners Court extended the county’s declaration of local disaster for public health emergency through April 30 in a 3-2 vote at a special meeting of the court March 31.

The court’s Republicans—Precinct 1 Commissioner Vincent Morales and Precinct 3 Commissioner Andy Meyers—voted against the motion. The Court’s Democrats—Judge KP George, Precinct 2 Commissioner Grady Prestage and Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken DeMerchant—voted in favor.

Before the 3-2 vote for the April 30 declaration extension, the court voted 2-3 along party lines to extend the declaration for only seven days, and the motion failed.

Meyers said he is uncomfortable with a 30-day extension rather than a week-by-week extension. Both he and Morales expressed confusion over the change from seven days to 30 days.

George said this longer extension follows other local entities’ extensions and President Donald Trump’s directions for following coronavirus guidelines. It will also help George take action on the stay-home order he issued March 24, which expires April 3, he said.

"This [extension] actually gives more power [and] more ability to work with this situation," George said.

George first signed a one-week declaration March 12 in response to the coronavirus. It was extended March 17 and March 24.

Also at the special meeting, the court also unanimously approved the transfer of $1 million from the general fund balance to the coronavirus project account to pay for county expenses related to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It's actually to keep pace with the burn rate of expenditures and purchase orders and give a little room until your next Commissioners Court [meeting April 7],” Fort Bend County auditor Ed Sturdivant said.
By Jen Para
Jen joined Community Impact Newspaper in fall 2018 as the editor of the Katy edition. She covers education, transportation, local government, business and development in the Katy area.


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