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San Jacinto News-Times - Local News
Stories Added - October 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company

Grants totaling $6.2 million reviewed by DETCOG committee
San Jacinto News- Times - October 2008

NEWTON – Three grants totaling $6.2 million were reviewed during the Board of Directors of the Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) meeting held Thursday in Newton at the Iris and Ann Howard Civic Center. Commissioner Charles Shofner, Chairman of the Grants Application Review Committee reported their committee to review three Grants for a total of $6,282,459. The City of Crockett grant in the amount of $1,024,541 to remodel the Crockett Fire Station and to purchase a new fi re engine was recommended to the board for approval. The Community Action Nacogdoches grant in the amount of $4,157,349 to continue its Head Start operations was also approved by the board. The grants will now be submitted to the appropriate agency for review to be funded. John McDowell, DETCOG Emergency Planning Coordinator, reported the DETCOG Multi Agency Coordinating Center (MACC) in Polk County, headed by Polk County Judge John Thompson functioned for 11 days. DETCOG’s 12 counties used the MACC to communicate their needs to state and federal agen- Grants totaling $6.2 million reviewed by DETCOG committee cies involved with the emergency response.

Governor Rick Perry and Steve McCraw, the State’s Homeland Security Director visited the Deep East Texas MACC Thursday following the Hurricane Ike. Several county judges present reported on the success of the MACC operations for their local communities. Walter Diggles, DETCOG executive director, reported on a meeting he and his counterparts from the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission and the Houston/Galveston Council of Governments had with a representative of the governor’s offi ce regarding the short term and long term recovery efforts following the massive devastation left by Hurricane Ike. Diggles reported on the efforts of the DETCOG staff during Hurricane Ike which included the Jasper offi ce facility being used as the EOC for Jasper, Newton and Sabine counties, staff support for the Regions MACC operations in Polk County and staff support to the EOC operations in Angelina County. In other business, Diggles reported a good response from sponsors for the Deep East Texas Reception coming up in Austin. The reception is held the evening before the start of each legislative session and is highlighted by the presentation of the “Legislator of the Year” award.

Past recipients include former Congressman Jim Turner; State Senator Todd Staples; United States Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Congressman Kevin Brady. This year’s recipient will be announced later this month. Houston County Judge Lonnie Hunt and Trinity County Judge Mark Evans reported on the inclusion of funds for the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination payment program and the Payment in Lieu of Taxes, or PILT, program, in the recently enacted Federal Emergency Economic Stabilization Act. That legislation provides funds to offset the loss of property tax dollars and economic development opportunities for counties and school districts whose boundaries border or incorporate National Forests. The act should restore signifi cant levels of funding for several Deep East Texas Counties and school districts. The next DETCOG Board meeting date has been moved to November 18. The Texas State Demographer will be making a presentation at that meeting scheduled to be held in Polk County.



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