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Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - May 2009
Copyright 2009 - Polk County Publishing Company

Houston County Applies For Summer Program for Youth and Senior Citizens
Houston County Courier -  May 2009

Several grant matters were on the agenda for a regular meeting of the Houston County Commissioners Court on Tuesday, April 28.
The court authorized a new grant application to the Deep East Texas Council of Governments for $100,000 to conduct a summer employment program for at-risk youth and older Americans.
If approved, the program would provide summer employment for 30-60 high school youth, ages 16 to 19, and for approximately 20 senior citizens age 65 and older.
The proposal calls for youth to work on various cleanup and beautification projects around Houston County, including cleanup of historic cemeteries.  The youth would also participate in a mentoring program to encourage good citizenship and motivate them to succeed in school or work.
The senior citizens would be used in a variety of local programs, including the home-delivered meal program of the Service Center for Older Americans, and the Alzheimer’s day care activity program which is held each Wednesday at the Lothrop Masonic Lodge building in Crockett. 
The proposal also includes employment of senior citizens to staff museums and historic homes during the summer months to allow those historic buildings to be open more days and promote more local tourism.
Houston County Judge Lonnie Hunt said an advisory committee which includes representatives of all the school districts in Houston County would help oversee the program, and that school personnel would be hired as supervisors for the youth program. 
The application will be submitted on May 1, and the county expects to learn whether or not it will be funded around the middle of May.
The commissioners court also approved a resolution supporting the renewal of a Victim’s Assistance Grant for the County Attorney’s Office.  County Attorney Daphne Session said the grant, which is through the Texas Attorney General’s office, would provide $38,648 for fiscal year 2010 and $37,899 for fiscal year 2011. 
Commissioners approved an agreement with Goolsby-Woodward Consultants.  The agreement authorizes Goolsby-Woodward to identify various funding sources, including grants available through the Federal Stimulus Program that would benefit Houston County. 
The principals of the new consulting firm are Houston County natives Carl Goolsby and J. D. Woodward.  Under the terms of the agreement, there is no up-front cost to the county.  Goolsby-Woodward would be paid for services performed under future grant programs which they help the county apply for. Projects must be approved by the commissioners court on an individual basis.

In other business Tuesday, the Houston County Commissioners Court approved a contract with the Austin law firm of Allison, Bass and Associates to review 2010 Census data and assist with re-districting of county precincts and approved the designation of a road off of State Highway 7 near the entrance to Ratcliff Lake as a county road.  The road was previously considered to be a private road, but Precinct 4 Commissioner Kennon Kellum discovered evidence that it was deeded to Houston County by the U.S. Forest Service back in 1967.
Commissioners heard a recommendation from structural engineer Burl Richardson of Lufkin for repairs needed to stabilize the foundation of the Court House Annex building. Richardson recommended contracting with S. C. Maxwell Company to perform the work under his supervision.  The total cost of the project will be approximately $20,000 including engineering fees.  Mr. Richardson will prepare a detailed contract for action by the court at its next meeting.
Commissioners approved the recording and filing of the site plat for the new Houston County Justice Center in the 700 block of South Fourth Street in Crockett.
They also approved the purchase of a new Caterpillar wheel loader for Road and Bridge Precinct 2, with the sale or trade-in of a 1994 Case wheel loader and accepted a donation of 20 loads of limestone road base to Road and Bridge Precinct 3 from Petro Quest Oil company for use on County Road 4040.
Commissioners adopted a resolution commending the Houston County Historical Commission for its efforts, noting that the local Commission recently received another Distinguished Service Award from the Texas Historical Commission.
Commissioners heard a presentation from John Hartley about the new Crockett Technology Center, which is located at 418 Alabama Street.
They adopted a proclamation designating May 3-9 as County Government Week in Houston County.



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