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County acts on autopsies, Harvey home demos

September 13, 2023 - 00:00
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Grimes County Commissioners Court took action during the Regular Meeting, Sept. 6 to reduce the wait time for autopsy reports. The court approved Justice of the Peace, Pct. 3 Mark Laughlin’s request for an Interlocal Agreement with Fort Bend County for the performance of post-mortem autopsies.

Laughlin said, “They’re about half what we’re currently paying. The local funeral homes have agreed to transport to them for the same price they will to Travis County.”

County Judge Joe Fauth said, “The other proposed benefit of using this is the turnaround on getting reports back. One of the big issues we’ve been experiencing, on some of our autopsies, is up to nine and 10 months.

Laughlin said, “Judge, I still have some from Lockhart I haven’t received back. I don’t know what else to do. I’ve had the county attorney send letters, I’ve called, I’ve sent copies…we’ve not sent anyone to that facility in a long time.”

According to Laughlin, the agreement will be final upon approval by the Fort Bend County Commissioners Court

Harvey demolition awards approved

Commissioners approved awarding demolition service contracts under the Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery/Hurricane Harvey Voluntary Buyout Program to RNDI Companies, LLC, ALBO, LLC and Grant McKay Demolition Co. The grant addresses the buyout of properties in the flood plain impacted by Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Emergency Management Services Coordinator David Lilly said, “The County has procured three homes or three structures. Out of five total structures, we have one home remaining we have not closed on yet. There are some outbuildings on that property that will be included. We’re not ready to proceed yet with demolition but we’re approaching that pretty quickly.”

Lilly confirmed the area will remain green space in perpetuity.

He continued, “If it hadn’t been for Covid, we’d be done with this process by now. It definitely slowed us up by two years. The citizens have been very patient and are relieved to start moving forward with their lives. Overall, it’s proven to be a success but it’s been a long drawn-out process.”

Other court action:

•Approved Consent Agenda Items which included the Treasurer’s July Monthly Report, Treasurer’s List of Claims and Bills, payroll, budget amendments and/or lineitem transfers.

•Proclamation declaring September as remembrance month for POW/MIAs and presentation by American Legion McClusky Post 640 Commander Steve Storey.

•Approved creation of an online account with Cell Hawk for cell phone forensic analysis for $5,000 captured to a new fund and budgeted to IT Department.

•Received update from Building Maintenance Manager Rodney Floyd on projects and repairs and approved the following requests: (1) surplus items from IT for auction with proceeds going back to IT; (2) Amended Lease Agreement with the Grimes County Fair Association.

•Approved the Grimes County Funeral Home Agreement with amended verbiage related to the designation of authority.

•Tabled amending the annual health services agreement with South Health Partners, Inc. to Sept. 20.

•Approved the purchase of two handheld radios for Courthouse Security in the 2024 budget for $9,048.48.

•Approved the following requests by IT Director Gregg Cannon: (1) Grimes County Computer Login Policy effective Oct. 1 from a 6-digit password to 20-digits changed once a year; (2) Grimes County IT Department assist with website development for the Grimes County Child Welfare Board; (3) installation of eight security cameras at JP Pct. 3 office in Navasota for $6,000 and wire installation for $1,500.

•Approved in separate votes, the Interlocal Agreement between Grimes, Madison and Walker counties to provide for the salaries, benefits, travel, training, and related expenses for court personnel and offices for the 12th District Court for FY 2023 and FY 2024.

•After a public hearing with no comments against, approved the proposed replat of Lot 202-R in the King Oaks Subdivision into Lots 202-R1 and 202-R2.

•In separate votes, approved the following: (1) the proposed replat of Lots 11, 12 and 13 in the Krat Subdivision into Lots 11A and 13A; (2) the proposed plat of Serenity Springs Subdivision Lots 1-4 on CR 319 in Pct. 3; (3) amend and extend the Special Road Use Permit for Black and McDonald for CR 178.

•Authorized Road & Bridge to purchase a used motor grader for $260,172.07 with $256,950 in Fund Balance after tradein and authorize the auditor to make the necessary changes.

•Approved a Surfacing Donation Agreement for CR 180 in Pct. 2 with landowners David Wilhelm, Douglas Evans and Britt Pence.

•Approved awarding annual contracts as follows: Fuel to Key Performance, Cold Mix to Waller County Asphalt, Tree Trimming to Flores Tree Services, Light Weight Aggregate to Arcosa Light Weight and Culverts to Wilson Culverts.

•Received the Road & Bridge report from Engineer Harry Walker.

•Due to increased accidents since SH 249 opened, approved Road & Bridge placing appropriate signage at Pinebrook and SH 249, then reporting their action to the court with a recommendation related to permanent signage.

•No action taken to establish Grimes County Expo and Fairgrounds facilities rental rates, fees and requirements for nonprofits.

•Approved 2023-24 Contract for County Funding for Firefighting Services with the Volunteer Fire Departments increasing Tier 4 subsidy to $45,000, with payments paid biennially Oct. 1 and April 1 and increased the Run Pool to $65,000.

•Approved an Interlocal Agreement with the City of Navasota for Fire Protection Services in unincorporated portions of Grimes County for $105,000. ILA changes include that the annual incident response report will be provided upon request by Grimes County and struck was language allowing Grimes County Emergency Management use of the Navasota Emergency Operations Center.

•Approved the FY 202424 Interlocal Agreement with the Regional Public Defender Office Local Government Corporation for indigent defense.

•Approved the Grimes County holiday calendar for 2024 with 15-day closures.

•Approved the release of $33,848.46 from dedicated ARPA funds to the Grimes County Sheriff’s Office to cover the shortage of funds for the purchase of 11 vehicles.

•No action taken on Strategic Plan.

•Executive session follow- up: (1) No action taken regarding Road & Bridge personnel matters. (2) No action taken regarding the sale of the Navasota Annex property on Veterans Memorial Drive in Navasota, the Anderson Annex at 114 W. Buffington in Anderson or any other county-owned properties in the Town of Anderson.

•See related story for action on elected official salaries, budget and tax rate on pg. 1 Meetings may be viewed in their entirety at https:// grimescountytx.granicus. com.