Commissioners approve $432,000 to hire consulting firm to help acquire homes in buyout areas, incorporation of The Woodlands discussed at Montgomery County Commissioners Court

Montgomery County Commissioners Court unanimously approved $432,048 toward home buyouts Tuesday.

Montgomery County Commissioners Court unanimously approved $432,048 toward home buyouts Tuesday.

On Sept. 25, the Montgomery County Commissioners Court unanimously approved $432,048 to pay consulting fees to Hagerty Consulting, who will help the county acquire homes in buyout areas.

The list of homes to receive the funding has been on hand with county staff—but has not been made public—since the first applications were submitted after the 2016 flood, according to county staff.

"It took a long time to get to this point," Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack said. "Y'all will tell us if there's a problem and we'll bring it back."

In a closed executive session that lasted over an hour, the commissioners also discussed potential liabilities and legal implications of the incorporation process of The Woodlands. As part of the process to incorporate, The Woodlands would either need to development departments to provide services, like law enforcement, or negotiate contracts with Montgomery County to continue receiving county services.

"We've asked for [county attorney] B. D. Griffin to reach out to the township attorney to make certain we're all on the same page," Noack said after the public session resumed. "There are a lot of conversations we've had as to contracting with the county for services from law enforcement all the way to road maintenance, signal maintenance, and so we need everybody to be on the same page as far as gauging what the willingness would be from both entities, and what fees would we charge if that were a possibility."

Other business

Also during the meeting, commissioners unanimously adjusted the auditor's budget after 410th District Court Judge Jennifer Robin signed a formal allowance. The adjustment comes after she said that because moving $234,000 to a newly created budget department would affect the county auditor’s salary portion of the budget, the court acted outside its authority when reallocating the funding.

  • Chris Jones was unanimously appointed constable of Precinct 5, which will become effective when Constable David Hill retires Oct. 1.

  • Robert Walker was unanimously appointed as commissioner to the housing authority of Montgomery County.

  • Three residents from The Woodlands commented against a planned underpass at Grogans Mill and Research Forest Drive during public comment in preference for an overpass at Grogans Mill Road and Lake Woodlands Drive.

  • The Way Home Coalition for the Homeless presented the 2018 homeless count numbers for Montgomery County, which were 203 homeless people sheltered and 74 unsheltered. About 46 percent were older than age 24, 34 percent were under age 18 and 20 percent were between the ages of 18-24.

View the full agenda here.

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly stated that commissioners approved $432,048 to fund home buyouts. It also incorrectly stated that the list of homes were gathered after Hurricane Harvey.
By Jules Rogers
Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Jules Rogers has been covering community journalism and urban trade news since 2014. She moved to Houston in June 2018 to become an editor with Community Impact Newspaper after four years of reporting for various newspapers affiliated with the Portland Tribune in Oregon, including two years at the Portland Business Tribune. Before that, Jules spent time reporting for the Grants Pass Daily Courier in Southern Oregon. Her favorite beats to cover are business, economic development and urban planning.