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County, Iola interlocal resolves septic complaints

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    Examiner photo by Connie Clements Focusing Families Services Program Director Lupe Garcia reads the proclamation signed by Commissioners Court recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The proclamation states, “Thousands of women and children in Texas are victims of domestic violence offenses which violate their basic human rights to live with respect, dignity and freedom from fear and violence," and cites the court's commitment to "end domestic violence that threatens so many."

The Grimes County Commissioners Court held a Special Meeting Wednesday, Oct. 16, and approved an amended Interlocal Agreement with the City of Iola for maintenance of roads, law enforcement, 9-1-1 services and on-site sewage disposal inspections. Commissioner Barbara Walker presided in the absence of Judge Joe Fauth.

Septic issues resolved

Commissioners brought to resolution an agenda item first addressed July 10.

County Attorney Jon C. Fultz told the court, “Originally, there was a concern about how to handle complaints and whether Iola was able to fund the $200 the county was going to charge per complaint.”

Fultz advised ongoing discussion between the City of Iola and the county’s environmental coordinator resulted in the newly amended agreement.

Fultz said, “What this does is keep in place the interlocal we had for 9-1-1, sheriff and roads. What has been proposed from Environmental, and discussed and approved by the mayor, would have the county only serving as the DR (Designated Representative) to handle inspections for installation and not to deal with complaints when there are allegations someone isn’t following the rules.”

He continued, “This leaves the city to obtain their own DR to handle complaints or potentially go through TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality). The mayor seems excited and the city receptive because they signed the agreement.”

Environmental Coordinator Katherine Lee said, “The service we’d be providing are just for new installations. All of the complaints will be forwarded to the mayor and it’s up to their discretion how they move forward with that.”

GCSO agreements

approved

Commissioners approved an addendum to the NCIC Inmate Telephone Service Agreement for three years through Oct. 17, 2022 and authorizing the Sheriff as signatory.

The NCIC Inmate Telephone Service provides communications between inmates and their families. Per the agreement, commissions paid to Grimes County by NCIC will increase 5% and a calling card discount applied.

Also approved was an Interlocal Cooperation Agreement with Montgomery County authorizing the commissioners as signatories.

In an effort to combat auto theft, the Grimes County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO)and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) have combined resources to form the Montgomery County Auto Theft Task Force.

Montgomery County filed an application with the Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Authority for grant funds in the amount of $337,464 for the period Sept. 1, 2019, through Aug. 31, 2020. Upon approval of the grant, MCSO will contribute $185,997 in matching funds and GCSO will contribute $10,000 in matching funds.

Other court action:

*Approved consent agenda items that included Treasurer’s list of claims and bills, payroll, September 2019 Monthly Report, budget and/or line item transfers.

*Approved a proclamation designating the month of October 2019 as Domestic Violence Awareness month.

*Approved the 2019 Tax Roll totaling $16,724,430.74 submitted by the Grimes Central Appraisal District.

*Approve the Tax Assessment/Collection Agreement with the Grimes Central Appraisal District in the amount of $356,032 for appraisal fees and $88,624 for assessment/collection fees.

*Approved installation of a 6-inch waterline and a fire hydrant for Wickson Creek SUD on CR 123.

*Approved a Resolution authorizing application for the Indigent Defense Grant Program in the amount of $25,000 with the county judge as the signatory.

Burn ban status

After considering recent rain and consulting several fire chiefs in attendance, the burn ban was lifted.