The Fort Bend County Commissioners Court allocated $12,000 to complete damage reassessment for the 2016 floods; commissioned a feasibility study for the construction of a multi-purpose facility; received federal grant funding for the sheriff’s office; and set a public hearing for the creation of a reinvestment zone.
1) Damage reassessment
County Commissioners allocated $12,000 to pay contractor Tetra Tech to complete the research required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for damages sustained from the 2016 floods so the county may receive the Hazard Mitigation Planning Grant.
The county applied for the grant, requesting $15-$16 million, in October 2016 after the flooding events, Emergency Management Coordinator Jeff Braun said.
FEMA is now considering the application, but they are requiring the county to reevaluate damages because the events took place over a year ago, Fort Bend County Judge Robert Hebert said.
The deadline to turn in the reassessment is March 31.
“So much time has passed due to [FEMA’s] inefficiency that we need to re-answer these questions, and we have to do it by the end of this month or we lose our eligibility [for funding],” Hebert said.
2) Feasibility study
The Court authorized a $51,000 feasibility study to be conducted by advisory and planning firm Conventions, Sports & Leisure International, looking into the potential for the construction of a multi-purpose facility on the county fairgrounds off of Hwy. 36 and south of Hwy. 59.
If constructed, the facility will provide a venue for large gatherings—such as graduation ceremonies for high schools in the region, Hebert said.
3) Federal funding
The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office received $398,393 in grant funding from the Office of National Drug Control Policy for its High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program.
The goal of the program is to reduce drug trafficking and production activities in the U.S. by promoting collaboration among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and supporting coordinated efforts among these entities, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency.
It is a repetitive grant for which the county applies every year, Hebert said.
4) Reinvestment Zone 20
The Court set a public hearing regarding the establishment of Reinvestment Zone 20 for tax abatement purposes for 1 p.m. March 27 in the Commissioners Courtroom at 401 Jackson Street, Richmond.
The zone encompasses approximately 92 acres of land in an unincorporated area of Fort Bend County along Hwy. 90A and the intersection of FM 1875, according to meeting documents.
5) Stepping Up initiative
The Court adopted a resolution to support the Stepping Up initiative to reduce the number of people with mental illness in jails.
Working with the American Psychiatric Association Foundation and The Council of State Governments Justice Center, National Association of Counties launched the initiative in May 2015, according to program documents. It engages community members and officials to develop policies and programs to reduce the number of people with mental illnesses booked into jails.