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Jim Guidry Commentaries
Harris County
Harris County Commissioners Court
by Garrett Bryce
Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Harris County Commissioners Court today voted to approve an agreement with the City of Houston, the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority and the Houston Dynamo for the construction of a professional soccer stadium in Houston.

Houston City Council had approved the agreement last week.  Both the county and the city will provide $10 million in funding through a Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone for infrastructure improvements at the stadium site.  The Houston Dynamo soccer team will fund construction of the stadium itself.

The commissioners court voted to approve the Fiscal Year 2010-2011 operating budget for the Harris County Hospital District. 

According to Director of Management Services Dr. Dick Raycraft, the district's operating costs have been reduced by 2.3 percent due to projected declines in tax revenues.

"The district's FY2011 budget will maintain a positive margin of $301,000," Raycraft said.

The net ad valorem tax revenue projections for the district were reduced by $30.2 million, for a total of $506.7 million in revenues from taxes.  Income from other sources was projected to decline by $10 million, for a total of $175.2 million in revenues. Budget

The commissioners court referred a recommendation for authorization to initiate the steps required to raze the Hogan Allnoch Building at 1319 Texas Avenue and construct a parking lot once demolition is complete to be heard at a Capital Improvements hearing.

The commissioners court voted to approve a payment in connection with a contract with Gulf Utility Service, Inc., in the amount of $416,350 for operation and maintenance of wastewater treatment plants at the Detention Center, Juvenile Boot Camp, and Baldwin Boettcher Substation.  The term "Juvenile Boot Camp" was changed to "Harris County Leadership Academy".

The commissioners court referred to the County Attorney's Office a recommendation to renew an annual agreement with the Harris County Department of Education for lease of storage space at 6005 Westview Drive for the Law Library, and for approval of a purchase order for the monthly lease amount of $400.

The commissioners court voted to approve $159,703 in funding to repair the fire alarm system at Annex 44, 1310 Prairie Street.  The item was amended to remove specifying the funding for Siemens Fire Safety.

The commissioners court tabled action on a request by Management Services for a voluntary payroll deduction agreement for the Caucasian Law Enforcement Association, a non-profit labor organization.  The item was referred back to the department and to the County Auditor.

The commissioners court voted to approve a request by the County Attorney's Office for the County Judge to execute agreements with the South Texas College of Law and Texas Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law for the employment of students on off-campus projects under the federal workstudy program.  The item was amended to change the dates of the program from March 1 through February 28, 2011 to April 1 through March 31, 2011.

The commissioners court voted to approve travel and training expenses of $31,621 for the New Horizons for Systems of Care Conference.  The item was changed to reflect a date of July 14-18 for the conference.

A request by the County Auditor's Office to establish a new bank account for the Harris County Sheriff's Office was withdrawn from the agenda.

A request by the County Auditor's Office to establish an emergency travel account for the Sheriff's Department was withdrawn from the agenda.

All other items were approved.  All members were present.  Agenda




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