Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - November 2009
Copyright 2009 - Polk County Publishing Company
Tax Abatement Approved
Houston County Courier - November 2009
The Houston County Commissioners Court on Tuesday approved a five-year tax abatement agreement for a proposed new hotel to be built on Loop 304 south..
A similar agreement was approved by the Crockett City Council last week.
Tim Culp, executive director of the Crockett Economic and Industrial Development Corporation, presented the agreement to the Commissioners Court on behalf of Shivoham Hospitality.
The company plans to construct a 52-unit Best Western Hotel on property at the intersection of Loop 304 and Edmiston Drive. The location is next door to the Crockett Inn and in front of the Crockett Civic Center and Porth Ag Arena.
Culp said the projected cost of the project is $3.5 million. Construction should begin in March of next year. The county and city have both agreed to a tax abatement on the property of 75 percent during the first year, 50 percent in years two and three, and 25 percent in years four and five.
In other business, the Houston County Commissioners approved a contract with the Texas Department of Rural Affairs for a grant which will fund the installation of 16 emergency generators for rural water facilities and fire stations around the county. The contract was approved pending its review by County Attorney Daphne Session.
The $1.35 million grant will enable the county to provide two large generators for the Houston County Water Control and Improvement District, seven generators for Consolidated Water Supply Corporation, one generator for the Ratcliff Water Supply, and generators for the volunteer fire departments at Austonio, Belott, Houston County Lake, Porter Springs, Weches and Weldon.
The funds are coming from Round One of the Hurricane Ike Disaster Recovery Grant Program.
Houston County Judge Lonnie Hunt said he is hopeful that Houston County will receive even more money in Round Two of the program.
“Right now there is a battle going on between Austin and Washington,” he said. “Under the funding allocation which was submitted by the State of Texas, we would be in line for substantially more money in Round Two. However, HUD has rejected that plan and given the state 45 days to go back through the process and make changes. Deep East Texas is one of four regions in the state which are receiving the bulk of this money. Most of the problems seem to be coming from protests in the Houston-Galveston region. I’m not aware of any complaints from the DETCOG region, but we are still affected.”
Commissioners awarded a bid for work under another proposed grant project to the only bidder, Hobson Air Conditioning of Weatherford.
The project is contingent on funding of a Renewable Energy Technology Stimulus Grant that Houston County has applied for, and a matching rebate from Oncor.
If the grant and rebate are received, they would fund the installation of solar panels to reduce electricity usage at various county-owned buildings, at no cost to the county.
Commissioners also voted to remove Habitat for Humanity from the list of organizations to which jurors can donate their jury pay.
The Habitat organization in Houston County has recently dissolved.