Washington County Commissioners approved the disbursement of hotel occupancy tax (HOT) grant funding for the fall 2024 cycle at a brief meeting this (Tuesday) morning.

The court awarded four organizations a total of $15,320 to promote tourism and events or to use for operational expenses.  Eight requests were made for $72,846, but four were not fulfilled.

The organization receiving the most funding was the Burton Chamber of Commerce, which was awarded its full amount requested in $6,320 to use for wayfinder signage.  The Texas Arts and Music Festival received $4,000 out of $27,000 sought for event advertising, while the Brenham Heritage Museum will get $3,000 out of $8,850 desired for billboard advertising and the Chappell Hill Historical Society will obtain $2,000 out of $5,000 requested for the Scarecrow Festival.

Groups that did not receive funding were the Burton Beautification Association, which requested $11,048 for granite sidewalks; Unity Theatre, which put in for $7,100 for promotion of the arts; the Texas Ten Historical Explorers, which sought $5,000 for panels; and the Burton Heritage Society, which asked for $2,528 for walking tour signage.

HOT funds are presented twice a year, in the spring and the fall, with a standard maximum of $25,000 allocated in each distribution.  The funding amounts are determined by a funding committee.  In December, the county awarded $23,895 in HOT funds to five organizations for the spring 2024 cycle.

County Judge John Durrenberger said the $9,680 left from the fall 2024 requests fulfilled will roll over into the spring of 2025.

Also on Tuesday, commissioners:

  • Approved the purchase of a 2025 Chevrolet Silverado for the Engineering and Development Services Department.  The purchase is for $43,500 from LaRoche Chevrolet Buick GMC.  County Engineer Wesley Stolz said the county is saving $2,790 on the price, after the initial purchase order was approved in December 2022 through a different vendor. 
  • Approved the addition of new Washington County 911 supplemental policies to the county employee handbook. 
  • Passed a non-appropriation addendum between the county and the business technology solutions company, UBEO.  Information Technology Director T.J. Harris said this allows the county to take 22 independent contracts for copiers and multi-function units and consolidate them into one contract.
  • Agreed to go out for requests for qualifications (RFQs) for delinquent tax collections for Washington County property taxes.  RFQs would be due to the county clerk by 10 a.m. on July 11th, with negotiations to begin after July 16th at 9 a.m. between the county and the chosen RFQ provider.
  • Approved the Independence 4th of July parade permit application.
  • Approved a job description for bailiff.
  • Proceeded with selling surplus county property through the county’s online auction service, GovDeals.
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  1. Just curious…why cant used vehicles be bought for individual city personel or depts? Can get a good quality vehicle and cost taxpayers less money, i dont know about everyone else, but just about every penny has been squeezed out of me…..

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