Fort Bend County extends disaster declaration

The Fort Bend County Commissioners Court extended the disaster declaration in Fort Bend County through Oct. 10 at its regular session meeting this week. The court also ratified the county transportation director’s decision to waive fares and fees for certain routes and services through Sept. 29 as part of the hurricane recovery efforts.

 

Disaster declaration extended

The court extended the disaster declaration in Fort Bend County in order to be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for what it spends cleaning up the county after Hurricane Harvey, county Judge Robert Hebert said.

As long as the county’s disaster declaration is in effect, cleanup efforts, such as debris collection, are eligible for FEMA reimbursement, Hebert said.

“It’s worth our while to save the impact on our taxpayers by keeping that declaration of disaster,” Hebert said.

In addition, the commissioners unanimously voted in favor to transfer $500,000 from its contingency reserves into an account for Harvey recovery expenditures. These funds would pay for expenditures not covered by FEMA or will be used to match FEMA reimbursement projects, according to meeting documents.

The court also authorized the Fort Bend County Central Appraisal District to reappraise properties damaged by the hurricane.

Approximately 6,000 to 7,000 homes will be reappraised, Hebert said.

 

Public transportation fees and fares are waived

The commissioners court unanimously authorized the transportation director to waive fares and fees for transportation routes and services through Sept. 29.

Fares for all Fort Bend County Public Transportation routes will be waived through September 29, 2017, according to the county’s public transportation website. This includes services for commuter, demand-response and point-deviation routes. Passengers will be required to pay fares for transportation service starting Oct. 2, according to the website.

 

County health services will apply for state grant for HIV prevention

The commissioners court ratified Fort Bend Health and Human Services’ application to the Texas Department of State Health Services for grant funding totaling $288,722 for HIV prevention efforts in 2018.

The funds will be used to pay for condom distribution, testing services, and related equipment and salaries, according to meeting documents.

 

Proposed property and drainage tax rate won’t change

Fort Bend County will not change its total proposed property and drainage tax rate of $0.46900 per $100 valuation of property, which includes the drainage district’s tax rate as well as a half-cent reduction from last year’s rate.

The commissioners plan to fund an engineering study to assess the county’s infrastructure and drainage-related assets such as its levees, Hebert said. The court discussed raising the drainage district’s tax rate to fund the studies but ultimately decided such an increase was not necessary.

“We have enough money in reserve that we think we can fund the studies,” Hebert said. “We all agree that the studies are needed.”
By Renee Yan
Renee Yan graduated May 2017 from the University of Texas in Arlington with a degree in journalism, joining Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in July.


MOST RECENT

Fort Bend County commissioners discussed vaccine distribution at a regular court session Jan. 26. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Fort Bend County to open new vaccination sites and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

Ditch H has three potential routes, two of which are shown here. The route will be finalized based on the results of routing study in the area. (Screenshot courtesy of City of Sugar Land)
Sugar Land City Council assesses future of 4 municipal trails

Funding recommendations and updates were provided for First Colony Trail, Ditch H Trail, Gannoway Lake Trail and New Territory Trail.

The Fort Bend ISD community has until Feb. 1 to provide feedback on three proposed calendars for the 2021-22 school year. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Fort Bend ISD launches survey on 3 proposed 2021-22 school calendar options

While all three calendars include a full week off for Thanksgiving, two full weeks for winter break, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and a weeklong spring break, they have varying start and end dates.

Fort Bend County commissioners discussed vaccine distribution at a regular court session Jan. 26. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Fort Bend County prepares to open additional COVID-19 vaccination sites

Fort Bend County officials are preparing to open additional COVID-19 vaccination sites so that the county will be able to administer more vaccines as soon as they become available.

Texas Medical Center offers coronavirus updates

More than 118,000 people have received their first shot.

Superintendent Charles Dupre said the transition to all-remote learning at these select campuses was due in part to significant teacher and staff absences. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
UPDATE: 12 Fort Bend ISD schools move to full remote learning due to COVID-19

Superintendent Charles Dupre said the transition to all-remote learning at these select campuses was due in part to significant teacher and staff absences.

“Hope is on the horizon,” Fort Bend County Judge KP George said at a press conference Jan. 4. “The vaccine is here.”
Vaccine distribution starts in Fort Bend County and more top Houston-area news

Read the most popular news from the past week from the Houston area.

Here are the latest coronavirus case count updates in Fort Bend County. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Fort Bend County sees 3,384 new coronavirus cases Jan. 15-21, up 498 from week prior

There were an average of 483.43 COVID-19 cases reported a day last week in Fort Bend County.

The Texas Department of Transportation plans to install a center, raised median on 5.8 miles of FM 1092 from Hwy. 59 to Hwy. 6. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Department of Transportation to add median on FM 1092 in Missouri City

In an effort to improve the movement of traffic and reduce collisions along FM 1092 in Missouri City, the Texas Department of Transportation plans to add a median to separate the six lanes of traffic and limit left turns.

Dr. Jacquelyn Johnson-Minter, director of Fort Bend County Health & Human Services, said Jan. 21 that it has been frustrating that the supply of vaccines thus far has been unable to meet the demand. (Morgan Theophil/Community Impact Newspaper)
UPDATED: Fort Bend County COVID-19 vaccine preregistration list hits capacity

Fort Bend County is prepared to receive and administer hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 vaccinations, County Judge KP George said during a press conference Jan. 21. To do so, however, the county must receive the vaccines in the first place.

One local health system leader said he expects everyone, including those under age 65, will have access to the vaccine within the next 90 days. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Houston-area health system leaders talk progress, hurdles during COVID-19

Officials from CHI St. Luke’s Health and UTMB Health said community members must remain vigilant as case counts climb but that they expect the current surge to peak by early February.