BY CONNIE CLEMENTS
Residents, commercial interests and those seeking to modify current septic systems will pay more for permits come Oct. 1. On Aug. 3 Grimes County Commissioners approved increasing the County’s OSSF (On-Site Sewage Facility) permit fees as follows: residential, $260 to $410; commercial, $460 to $600; and modifications, $200 to $300.
According to 911 Addressing/ Environmental Coordinator Kat Lee, current fees are below the norm and the increase will bring the Grimes County’s fee in line with those of surrounding counties.
Lee added, “When we have our review from TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality), that’s the one thing that’s always on our review – that we should be more compatible with our fees.” DPS/county complex on horizon?
County Judge Joe Fauth announced that the relocation of Road and Bridge, 911 Addressing/ Environmental and Adult Probation to the courthouse annex on Buffington, as previously planned, was recently revisited with Maintenance Manager Rodney Floyd and Pct. 4 commissioner, Phillip Cox.
Fauth said, “The annex renovation was a good idea at the time but with the potential growth and the expansion we’re seeing in the County, the possibility of putting another office complex behind the Justice Center is a real possibility.”
According to Floyd, the 7,200 square foot facility doesn’t allow for expansion and growth and the estimated renovation cost has increased from $250,000 to $400,000-plus.
Fauth also advised of a meeting with Floyd, Sheriff Don Sowell and Texas Department of Public Safety officials “to explore the possibility of putting a driver’s license facility back here.”
Fauth said, “I do think the idea of giving DPS the opportunity to expand their troopers dedicated to our county…that will take some of the load off the Sheriff’s office.”
Cox said, “I think we’re in the position financially through the ARPA funds to seriously consider it without a devasting impact to the taxpayer locally. It gives us the opportunity to negate some of the older buildings and maintenance issues that come along with them and locate the majority of our Grimes County services in this location.”
Floyd estimated 8,00010,000 square foot could accommodate Road and Bridge, Adult Probation, DPS and 911 complete with its own sign shop.
Fauth plans to schedule a workshop to discuss the idea he described as “conceptual right now.”
Other court action:
•Approved Consent Agenda items which includes the treasurer’s list of claims and bills, the June 2022 monthly report, payroll, the Grimes County Third Quarter Investment Report and budget amendments and/or line-item transfers.
•Received a report about on-going projects from Building Maintenance Manager, Rodney Floyd.
•Tabled approval of appointment of election judges and alternates and the Central Count/ Early Voting Ballot Board staff for the 2022-2023 election season.
•Approved a plat request for Brandon’s Retreat subdivision in Pct. 4 off CR 407 to subdivide 5 acres to two tracts. Sixty-feet is being dedicated for a roadway easement.
•Received a Road & Bridge
•Approved the fund balance policy as presented by Auditor Jessi Murphy.
Burn Ban: The burn ban remains in place.