County declares disaster
After heavy rains throughout the month of May, Jack County Commissioners approved a resolution declaring disaster during a meeting May 28.
The declaration allows the county to apply for FEMA flood disaster assistance. County Judge Keith Umphress said rains the morning of May 18 prompted the move.
“Everyone was hurt that morning and we had roads in precincts 2 and 3 particularly that were flooded and particularly hard hit,” Umphress said. “I actually made the declaration a week ago and this is to ratify that decision.”
Officials from the Texas Department of Emergency Management encouraged Umphress to apply for funds early and “not wait to do it.” Archer County and Wilbarger County officials have applied for funding already, which is part of the reason behind doing it.
Umphress has had prior workings with FEMA, as have commissioners James Brock and Terry Ward. Heavy rains back in 2015 forced the county to ask for FEMA funds. Those funds, along with a grant, have put the county roads in much better shape than they were, Umphress said.
“Some areas of the county received nine inches of rain back on May 1,” Umphress explained. “That previous road work, paid for by FEMA and CTIF monies, have gotten our roads in better shape.
It was uncertain when the county might hear about their application.
In other activity, commissioners approved spending nearly $8,000 to replace the doors at the east and south entrances to the courthouse as a move to improve security at the facility.
A metal detector has already been purchased along with enhances to the courthouse to the camera system. Courthouse Maintenance Director Lane Argo said a bullet-resistant film can be added to the doors for $11 per square foot.
A committee met earlier this year to determine how security could be improved at the facility and some suggestions were given.