Fort Bend Commissioners approve thousands in grant funding for development agencies, consider new reinvestment zone: 3 takeaways from the Jan. 2 meeting

Fort Bend County Commissioners discussed establishing a new reinvestment zone in Precinct 1 and awarded grant money to several community agencies during a regularly scheduled meeting Jan. 2 in downtown Richmond. Here are a few takeaways from the meeting:

Public hearing for Fort Bend County Reinvestment Zone No. 19
Commissioners held a public hearing for the creation of Fort Bend County Reinvestment Zone No. 19 for tax abatement purposes. The area concerns a 12,000-square-foot office building located in Precinct 1 and would serve the Needville area by potentially providing 25 jobs, according to commissioners. The three members of the public who signed up to speak during the hearing were in favor of the reinvestment zone.

“I think it is going to be a great economic development project for the county and for Needville,” Precinct 1 Commissioner Vincent Morales said. “…it’s going to create 25 jobs in Needville and it’s going to put some taxable value on the ground for the county…”

Commissioners will discuss creating the reinvestment zone at the next meeting on Jan. 9, according to Morales.

Community development grant funding approved
Commissioners approved over $300,000 in grant funding through the Community Development Block Grant Program and Emergency Solutions Program for several Fort Bend agencies. The agencies include:

• Brazos Bend Guardianship Services: $30,000
• Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston: $35,903
• Child Advocates of Fort Bend County: $37,954
• Fort Bend Senior Citizens, Inc: $40,000
• Literacy Council of Fort Bend County: $39,690
• The Arc of Fort Bend County: $34,000
• Fort Bend County Women’s Center, Inc.: $36,000
• Fred & Mabel R. Parks Youth Ranch Inc: $60,108
• Fort Bend Women’s Center: $47,418

Authorized under Title 1 of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, the Fort Bend County CDBG program provides an annual grant to the county for development projects that benefit low and moderate-income persons and help meet community needs, according to the Fort Bend County website.

2018 mileage reimbursement rate set
Commissioners approved a 1-cent increase to the county's mileage reimbursement rate. Effective Jan. 2, 2018, the rate is 54.5 cents, the same as the Internal Revenue Service.

Commissioners will meet again 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 9 at the Fort Bend County courthouse off Jackson Street in Richmond.


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