Roads and retail: What you missed at this week's Harris County Commissioners Court

Tuesday's Harris County Commissioners Court meeting saw various agenda items approved, ranging from water and road infrastructure to spending on public health and social services:

Roadwork
For Precinct 3, the court approved a reconstruction study of Peek Road from north of Clay Road to north of Grand Ventana Drive. Construction and traffic signal improvements were also approved for South Fry Road at Westgreen Boulevard and South Fry Road at Kingsland Boulevard.


Commercial development
Among several plats approved during the meeting were two parcels for Lidl stores in Katy and Cypress. The German grocery chain announced last year that it planned to expand its U.S. presence and currently has stores in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.


The Katy and Cypress stores would be among the company's first in Texas. A company representative said Monday that Lidl was considering several in the state but that no store information was being released as of yet.

Public health
The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD received $4,650,910 for the Harris County Mental Health Jail Diversion Pilot Program. The program aims to divert individuals with mental health disorders who have been repeatedly arrested to the Harris County Psychiatric Center.

The county launched the program in 2013 and receives state funding for its efforts. But Community Impact Newspaper reported in June that the program has limited resources.

Libraries
A memorandum of understanding with the Houston Public Library was approved to establish reciprocal services with the county. The court also authorized the Harris County Law Library to create a self-help center for county residents wishing to represent themselves in legal matters.

Water
With a recommendation from the Harris County Toll Road Authority and Harris County Flood Control District, a joint funding structure between the two entities was approved to implement a regional drainage plan. The drainage plan would accommodate the Hwy. 249 extension project with up to $10 million initially from the toll road, according to the agenda.


The court also approved partnership agreements with 13 cities in Precincts 1, 2 and 3 for a regional watershed protection program.


Commissioners and officers of the Harris County Sheriff's Department also took time Tuesday to comment on the county's appeal of a May ruling in the U.S. District Court that the county's bail system is unfair to those who cannot afford it and are awaiting trial on misdemeanor charges. The case is scheduled for oral arguments in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Oct. 2.