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Court discusses regional grant, Elgin-area development

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The Bastrop County Commissioners Court authorized the county to apply for another regional justice assistance grant, this time for Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO), during their last regular meeting on February 24.

In January, county engineer Carolyn Dill gave a presentation to the court about the need for a county environmental peace officer, which could be funded by this grant through the Capital Area Council of Governments. At the previous meeting, the court authorized applying for the grant for this purpose.

A possible grant could also be used to purchase the equipment to create a scan of an entire crime scene, Holly Tucker from BCSO told the court. The total cost, and the amount asked for in the grant, would be about $95,000.

“Whenever it comes to trial, we’re able to present it as if everyone sitting in the courtroom is there,” Tucker said. “We’re hoping to improve our crime scene processing and decrease human error and time that we’re on scene.”

Since Bastrop County has already submitted one application for this grant program, Dill said the county can apply for more than one grant, but must specify a priority. Pape suggested keeping the environmental officer grant application in tier one and putting the BCSO grant application in the second tier. The court’s motion specified that this application would be a tier two application.

Elgin-area subdivisions discussed

The court discussed a letter from the City of Elgin about the many developments under construction or planned for the area surrounding Elgin.

The letter from Elgin city manager Thomas Mattis outlined all of the residential developments currently planned for the Elgin area. As of February 2020, 13 projects have secured some level of approval or right for development within the city or its extraterritorial jurisdiction, bringing 8,636 new homes to the area, the letter said. Four projects are currently engaged in site grading and infrastructure development, with homes either under construction or planned to begin construction within the first half of this year; three more projects are expected to begin construction this year, with homes going up by the end of the year.

“There’s a lot of development pressure in Elgin right now, as there is in other parts of the county,” County Judge Paul Pape said. “This next census should be pretty interesting to see how many folks are in Bastrop County. It’s changing as we speak.”

Precinct 4 Commissioner Donna Snowden pointed out many of the roads involved with the developments, such as County Line Road on the west side of Elgin, will be on county roads. Many of the developments, totaling about 2,200 homes, are planned for the County Line Road area.

One of the developments, the 137-lot Estates at Carter’s Grove subdivision south of Elgin on State Highway 95, was also specifically discussed at the meeting. The court accepted the road improvements in the development as complete to county standards.

Date set for Best Warrior Competition

The court approved a resolution in support of the annual Best Warrior Competition at the Camp Swift Training Center.

The multi-day competition pits the best soldiers from all of Texas’ National Guard units against each other with physical challenges. In addition to Texas soldiers, competitors from Chile and the Czech Republic also participate.

Precinct 1 Commissioner Mel Hamner said it’s the seventh year for Bastrop County to host the Best Warrior Competition.

“They come from every brigade in the state, as well as every wing in the state,” Hamner said.