The City of Plum Grove and Liberty County have finally hammered out an interlocal agreement that will provide a small amount of pothole repairs and mowing through Pct. 3 Commissioner David Whitmire’s office. The agreement was reached during the March 23 meeting but was rehashed during a meeting on March 30.
County Judge Jay Knight said that the County had gotten the “cart before the horse” with the last agreement and had to first approve a general agreement with the City of Plum Grove before entering into a specific agreement for the repairs. Last week’s agreement still stands, he said.
“Today we said we are going to work together to provide a little bit of maintenance. This is not an agreement to fix the roads. The City of Plum Grove will still be required to do that, but fixing a few potholes will make the roads a little better for the citizens,” Knight said.
The agreement approved last week provides minor road repairs and cleaning out ditches in exchange for a $300 monthly payment from the City of Plum Grove to Liberty County.
Knight admits having two interlocal agreements on County agendas within two weeks was a little confusing, but said it was necessary in order to follow the law.
“The agreement we approved last week is great but we couldn’t exercise it until this second interlocal agreement was approved by the court,” he said.
Commissioner Whitmire told Bluebonnet News Tuesday morning that he pushed for the first agreement because he felt something must be done to help the citizens of Plum Grove.
The roads in Plum Grove were badly damaged during Hurricane Harvey and other flooding events. Adding to the damage is the tremendous amount of traffic that is being forced onto the main roads in Plum Grove by the Colony Ridge subdivisions and additional school buses that shuttle children to and from the rapidly-growing communities.
In other business, commissioners heard from Colony Ridge developer Trey Harris regarding his plans to request a consolidation of Liberty County Municipal Management District (MMD) No. 1 and Liberty County Municipal Utility District (MUD) No. 1. Both tax entities are for properties within the Santa Fe Subdivision south of Plum Grove.
According to Knight, both entities have the same tax rate that is collected from within the districts. An MUD provides funding for the infrastructure, such as water, sewer and wastewater systems in areas where it otherwise would not be available. MMD funds may be used for fire, police and EMS services, road maintenance, drainage, parks and economic incentives to attract retail stores.
“Mr. Harris wants to do away with the MUD and make it all MMD. We don’t have a problem with that. He asked for a letter of support from the commissioners court and we can give him that, but he will also have to go to the State Legislature for approval. They are the ones who make the decision,” Knight said.
Commissioners also gave approval for fireworks to be sold in celebration of San Jacinto Day, which is celebrated this year on Wednesday, April 21. Fireworks stands across the county will be open for a few days leading up to the big event. Knight said that as long as the weather holds out, with no drought-like conditions or high winds, fireworks will be sold for use in the unincorporated areas of Liberty County. Cities generally do not allow the use of fireworks within city limits.