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County commissioners pick new firm to solicit, administer grants

During Tuesday’s regular meeting, Liberty County Commissioners approved a contract with a firm called Grant Works of Austin to solicit and administer grants for Liberty County. That work has been handled in recent years by a local firm, Public Management of Cleveland. Liberty County Judge Jay Knight said a committee was formed to study three submitted proposals - one from Grant Works, a second from Public Management and a third from Geo Tech. Those proposals were reviewed by a committee that included Liberty County Grant Administrator David Douglas, Liberty County Attorney Matthew Poston, County Treasurer Kim Harris, Purchasing Agent Harold Seay and Assistant Auditor Angela Maselli. Based on the committee’s review and a check of references from other government agencies that have used each of the firms, Judge Knight said the committee recommended Grant Works. He said the firm’s fees will be based on a percentage of the grants acquired and administered. Judge Knight said one of the first grants the firm will pursue is for a $2 million countywide drainage plan. He said drainage is a huge issue for county and needs to be addressed. Of note, Public Management will continue to manage the ongoing grant projects it is already contracted to administer. In other business, Liberty County Commissioners approved a second payment of $292,109 to Millis Equipment. David Douglas said the first payment was for about $30,000. That is related to a grant dating back to Hurricane Ike that comes through the General Land Office. It is for ongoing work on Reese Bayou to remove tires, logs and other debris blocking drainage. That grant is also tied into more drainage work in Precinct 1 off of FM 1409 near the Trinity River that involves the installation of culverts. Also during Tuesday’s meeting, Liberty County Commissioners accepted an anonymous donation of $25,000 given to the office of Constable Precinct 3 Mark Davison. Constable Davison said the much-appreciated donation will be used to purchase a good used vehicle for his office.

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