Groveton, Texas – Looking rested after the most recent legislative session, both State Senator Robert Nichols and State Representative Trent Ashby spoke to the Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) Board Thursday in Groveton. While talking about the importance of rural legislators from East Texas working together to resist detrimental urban initiatives, Nichols praised DETCOG Region officials for their unified approach to dealing with the legislature.
Both officials were very complimentary of each other; Nichols talked about Ashby’s service on the powerful House Appropriations Committee. Ashby talked about Nichols chairing the Senate Transportation Committee that took the lead on revamping the state’s transportation funding system. They urged the local leaders to be vocal in their support for Proposition 7 in the upcoming November 3rd Constitutional Amendment Election. That proposition calls for dedicating certain sales and use tax revenue and motor vehicle sales, use, and rental tax revenue to the state highway fund.
In preparation for the end of the 2015 Fiscal Year the board approved 2015 budget amendments and a budget of $31,400,000 for 2016. Efforts to close-out Solid Waste Grants are underway so that any unused funds can be reallocated.
DETCOG Executive Director Walter Diggles reported to the board on updates to the Disaster Recovery Forgivable Loan policy. Changes were made to speed up the process for making those funds available to businesses. Almost $900,000 has become available for more of the job creating loans. Application forms for that program will soon be distributed to Economic & Industrial Development Corporations and Chambers of Commerce.
The board voted to move the September board meeting scheduled for the 24th in Tyler County to September 17th. Texas Municipal League will be holding their 103rd Annual Conference the week of the 24th in San Antonio.