|Trinity Standard - Local News
Copyright 2013 - Polk County Publishing Company
Home program, mental health officer approved
Trinity Standard -
GROVETON – A rural home grant program and the continuation of the sheriff's mental health officer program were approved Monday by the Trinity County Commissioners Court. During their meeting, commissioner formally named Grant Works as the administrator of the home grant program designed to replace dilapidated homes with new, modern structures. Last month commissioners agreed to participated in the federally funded HOME Investment Partnership program, which is administered by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. Grant Work is the consulting firm chosen Monday to oversee the actually operation of the program for the county. Under the program, the county will act as the "pass through" agency for the program funds, which will be supplied as part of the HOME grant program. No local money will be used to rebuild homes approved under the program. Low-income homeowners who have all of their property taxes paid may apply to have their existing homes replaced under the program. The City of Trinity has been involved in the program for several years, but until recent changes were implemented, local matching funds or labor was required to receive the grant funds. However, under the new rules, neither the city nor the county will have to provide a "match" in order to qualify for the funds. Mental health officer In other business Monday, commissioners voted to fund an additional $10,000 in salary for the county's mental health officer. Under the budget approved in September, the county allocated $10,000 to pay the part-time officer's salary for six-months. They had hoped to get an additional $10,000 grant to pay for remaining six months. However, earlier this month County Auditor Sheila Johnson notified commissioners that the grant money was not awarded to the county and that the $10,000 set aside by the county had been spent. Sheriff Woody Wallace told commissioners that without the part-time mental health officer, he would be forced to assign a patrol deputy to handle mental health calls, which often take up to six to eight hours to handle. Under state law, when a mental health warrant has been issued, a deputy must remain with the subject until a bed can be found in a mental health care facility. Wallace warned that using a regular deputy for the duty would create overtime issues and decrease the manpower available to answer emergency calls. During their meeting Monday, commissioners voted to move $10,000 from the county's reserve fund to pay the officers salary for the remainder of the budget year. Default notification During the meeting, commissioners authorized County Judge Doug Page to sign a letter notifying the developers of the Eagle Falls Subdivision and their insurance carriers that the county is considering declaring the developer to be in default. Earlier this month, a group of people who had purchased property in the development came before the commissioners to request help. They told commissioners that the developer ran into problems with the Environmental Protection Agency two years ago when he disturbed a federally protected wetland. Since that time, all development work had halted and promised utilities and roads were not installed. Because the county had required the developer to post an insurance bond on the utilities, it was agreed to begin the process under which the county could collect the bond. If the bond money is collected, it would be put into a special account to be used to install the promised utilities.