Henderson County Commissioners Court accepted an indigent defense grant, Tuesday, from the Texas Indigent Defense Commission.
Grant Coordinator Jessica Chapman said the grant total is $70,512 which will offset some of the $786,773.96 the county spent on indigent defense attorneys during the year covered by the grant.
The Indigent Defense Formula Grant, combined with other reimbursements, cover about one-fifth of the county’s indigent defense expense.
Commissioners also set a public hearing for 9:15 a.m., April 6 for the Henderson County Hazard Mitigation Plan. Fire Marshal Shane Renberg said the plan has been approved at the state level and FEMA. It now must be adopted by the county and 20 other entities included in the plan.
“Typically, we adopt it first and the cities follow,” Renberg said.
Once the plan is adopted, it opens up avenues for the county to received grants and financial help in times of disaster.
Hazard mitigation describes actions taken to help reduce or eliminate long-term risks caused by hazards or disasters, such as flooding, earthquakes, wildfires, landslides, or dam failure. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, hazard mitigation breaks this repetitive cycle by taking a long-term view of rebuilding and recovering following disasters.
In other action, Commissioners approved an agreement to temporarily hold Smith County prisoners. Henderson County will receive $40 per prisoner, per day to house them. The service will be provided as needed as long as space is available. Currently, the jail is holding 23 Smith County inmates.
Commissioners also voted to:
• pay a refund for overpayment of taxes, totaling $3,029.93;
• pass a resolution authorizing submission of 2021-2022 Texas Community Block Grant application for improvements to the Crescent Heights Water Supply Corporation for two new water lines;
• appoint Precinct 4 Commissioner Mark Richardson to replace Precinct 3 Commissioner Chuck McHam;
• approve a request for the use of county personnel and equipment to clean the Fisher-Robinson historical cemetery;
• grant a right-of-way request for Bethel-Ash Water Supply Corporation to bore under County Road 3800 and
• authorize payment of bills totaling $180,000.