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In the News

Telecommunicators nationally recognized

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

CAPCOG, as the lead agency for regional emergency communications working through the Capital Area Emergency Communications District, urges all local governments to recognize the 700 9-1-1 telecommunicators for their unwavering service to the 10-county region. In March, CAPCOG’s Executive Committee proclaimed April 10-16 National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week to honor local telecommunicators throughout the 10-county region.

The nationally recognized week celebrates and honors 9-1-1 call takers and their important role as the first, first responder. By providing 24/7 service, telecommunicators help save lives, apprehend criminal suspects, and protect property and people. Other emergency service personnel and municipal and county officials will show their appreciation for their local 9-1-1 call takers throughout the week by hosting an array of activities and events just for the public safety telecommunicators.

Because 9-1-1 telecommunicators are a vital link between first responders and their communities, CAPCOG encourages all local governments to honor their telecommunicators by signing proclamations or resolutions and celebrating this week in April so citizens also understand the value of the telecommunicators’ role in public safety.

> Read the CAPCOG Executive Committee resolution for National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week.
> Read the State proclaimation for National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week.
> Learn about the CAPCOG Emergency Communication Division.

CJAC to rank criminal justice grants

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The CAPCOG Criminal Justice Advisory Committee will hold two meetings to receive presentations from organizations that submitted for a 2017 Office of the Governor’s, Criminal Justice Division grant.

The meetings are scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, March 29 and 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 30 in the CAPCOG Pecan Room, 6800 Burleson Road, Building 310, Suite 165, in Austin.

Participating organizations will be contacted about presentation times, but a schedule of the presentations has also been released.

> Review the Criminal Justice grant presentation schedule.
> Read more about the Criminal Justice grant process.

CAPCOG ships GeoMap 2015

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

GeoMap Program partners in 2015 can expect their 6- and 12-inch resolution orthoimagery any day. CAPCOG received data in late February, and is distributing it to the partner organizations.

The GeoMap Program provides crucial planning data that assists organizations with a variety of projects such as appraisals, growth management, conservation, local development and more. The GeoMap data release also means it is available for purchase by non-participating entities such as engineering and development firms.

> Purchase GeoMap 2015 data.

The GeoMap Program is an annual cooperative-purchasing effort that provides GIS base map data to many local governments. The program has saved more than $9 million since 2002 by minimizing potential duplicative efforts and receiving large volume discounts.

The 2016 GeoMap Program work is currently underway and the leaf-off orthoimagery acquisition is complete. CAPCOG expects to deliver the 2016 data this fall. It’s also time to prepare and budget for GeoMap 2017. The first call for 2017 projects will be in late March.

> Learn more about the upcoming 2017 GeoMap Program project.
> Discover the CAPCOG GIS Program.

TDHCA takes comments on Amended 2016 One-Year Action Plan

Friday, March 11, 2016
Source: Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs

The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) started a 30-day public comment period for the Amended 2016 State of Texas Consolidated Plan: One-Year Action Plan on March 7, 2016. Comments will be accepted until 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 5, 2016.

TDHCA, Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA), and Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) prepared the plan in accordance with 24 CFR §91.320. TDHCA coordinates the preparation of the State of Texas Consolidated Plan documents. The plan covers the State's administration of the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) by TDA, the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program (HOPWA) by DSHS, and the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program and the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program by TDHCA.

The Plan reflects the intended uses of funds received by the State of Texas from HUD for Program Year 2016. The Program Year begins on Feb. 1, 2016, and ends on Jan. 31, 2017. The plan also illustrates the State's strategies in addressing the priority needs and specific goals and objectives identified in the 2015-2019 State of Texas Consolidated Plan.

Based on updated HUD guidance, TDHCA has amended the plan to include a change in allocation amounts for all programs from estimated to final 2016 allocations; updates the HOME Method of Distribution; updates the definition of Chronically Homeless for ESG; and the addition of contingency provision language to the Citizen Participation Plan for estimated and actual allocation amounts for future years.

Anyone may submit comments on the plan in written form by mail to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Housing Resource Center, P.O. Box 13941, Austin, TX 78711-3941 or by fax to 512-475-0070.

> Submit comments by email to info@tdhca.state.tx.us.
> Go to the TDHCA Public Comment Center to access the plan.

AAACAP director headlines caregiving conference

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

The Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area Director, Jennifer Scott, will deliver a keynote speech about practical tips for caregivers who care for a person with  Alzheimer’s or other related dementia during Alzheimer’s Texas and Riverbend Church’s symposium - GPS, a Road Map for Caring for Aging Family Members.

“Learning about how the disease affects the person’s abilities is the key to being able to understand why the person struggles to complete the most basic tasks each day and struggles to follow directions of the caregiver,” Scott said. Her presentation will provide information on making the caregiving experience better for caregivers and their loved ones.

The conference will be from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 12 at Riverbend Church Fellowship Hall in Austin.

Other speakers include Dr. Dewayne Nash, who will discuss Alzheimer's research and his connection with it; Pastor Reg Larkin, minister and counselor, who will discuss faith, celebration and grief in Caregiving; and Mary Koffend, owner of Accountable Aging, who will discuss Medicare, Medicaid, and Medigap.

> Register for the conference.
> Discover AAACAP.

Excited Delirium course stresses recognition of condition

Monday, March 07, 2016

Incidents of excited delirium create a number of challenges for peace officers, correctional officers, emergency medical personnel, and dispatchers as they respond to the substance induced medical condition. A March 25 Regional Law Enforcement Academy (RLEA) course, Excited Delirium, will educate public safety personnel on the best practices for recognizing, responding, and treating a subject with excited delirium.

“The (Excited Delirium) condition itself is always changing,” said Doug Wheless, the Lieutenant over the Medical Department in the Williamson County Jail, who is teaching the course. “There are always new examples of incidents, and the technology, practices and legal response behind the methods used to handle excited delirium incidents are always changing, too. This course will be beneficial to everyone in the public safety field.”

One of the first challenges public safety officers face is recognizing the symptoms of excited delirium and distinguishing it from other medical and mental conditions. People suffering from the condition can become violent, paranoid, appear to have superhuman strength and can suffer from asphyxia and hyperthermia. A subject in this state often removes their clothes, becomes aggressive to objects — especially glass, hides, thrashes in restraints and can cause further harm to themselves and others.

Similar side effects can be found in people suffering from schizophrenia and even strokes. By the end of the course, students will understand the differences between multiple ailments, so they can react appropriately.

“You don’t want to treat everyone like a drug addict that is acting out of control,” Wheless said. “You need to recognize that this is a medical emergency first.”

Excited Delirium Course Details

Course Time: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., March 25, 2016
Location: Mesquite Conference Room
CAPCOG Training Center
6800 Burleson Road, Building 310
Austin, TX 78744
Number of TCOLE CEUs: 8 Hours
> Register for the course
Registration Deadline: March 18, 2016

The violent and delirious nature of the subject’s condition also poses a challenge for those responding to the incidents. Officers often have to use force to subdue a subject, which can exacerbate the condition. The condition itself can be fatal, but this course teaches officers how to reduce that risk by using proper, specialized restraining methods and administering basic medical response so the subject can be transported safely to an emergency room for treatment. Each year there are between 250 to 350 in-custody deaths related to excited delirium incidents; this course aims to prevent those fatalities.

“This training teaches officers to recognize this condition as quickly as possible and have emergency medical services respond as quickly as possible while still protecting the subject, others and the officer,” said Randy Holmes, RLEA director.

An increase in the use of drugs that cause excited delirium such as K2, spice, bath salts, methamphetamine and cocaine combined with the subject’s bizarre behavior and officer response has caused many of these incidents to garner national media attention. Officers enrolled in this course will learn the importance of properly documenting these incidents to accurately portray the subject’s state and the officer’s response.

“The course teaches the safest way to handle a difficult, no win situation,” Wheless said. “Excited delirium is something that is not going to go away, and it is going to get worse and worse. We have to have a setup protocol that is defensible in a court of law.”

Wheless’ Excited Delirium course is backed by the American College of Emergency Physicians.

> Find other RLEA courses.
> Discover RLEA.

Lake Travis center provides regional hazardous waste options

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

A household hazardous waste facility in western Travis County has created a regional solution to costly annual collection events. The facility is helping six communities properly dispose of hazardous waste while reducing disposal cost, eliminating long wait times for residents, providing more collection times and deterring harmful illegal dumping.

The Lake Travis Regional Re-use and Recycling Center (LTRRRC) opened for its first household hazardous waste collection event on June 10, 2015. At that event, residents from 95 area households visited the facility to dispose of household hazardous waste. They dropped off 1,795 pounds of paint, 204 pounds of pesticides, 450 pounds of flammable solids and many other items. Two other events, one in September and one in December, experienced similar participation. The center is opened quarterly for the residents living in the cities of Lakeway and Bee Cave, The Village of the Hills, the Hurst Creek and Lakeway municipal utility districts and the Travis County Water Control and Improvement District No. 17.

“Participation from the community is going very well,” said Julie Oakley, Lakeway finance director, who helped start the facility. “We have been able to handle the flow of citizens coming to the center. The community has been very happy with the service, and we are accomplishing our goals.”

By increasing the frequency of collection events, the facility gives more residents greater access to proper disposal methods for chemicals and products that are harmful to people and the environment.

Before the center opened, the six communities participated in annual events with an attendance so abundant that cars and trucks stretched a mile long on Ranch-to-Market 620; sometimes residents were turned away.  And, instead of residents storing harmful chemicals for a year waiting for a collection event, this allows routine disposal.

Ken May, CAPCOG Regional Services Director, explained that a 2012-13 CAPCOG solid waste grant helped offset the six communities’ cost for opening the facility. The grant supported its initial construction, employee training and equipment purchases. LTRRRC met a number of the Regional Solid Waste Management Plan goals by encouraging household hazardous waste collection, alternatives to managing special types of waste and creation of a regional permanent facility.

CAPCOG solid waste grant funds have continued to support annual household hazardous waste events throughout the region, May added, and resident participation has continued to grow at such events which is great for disposal efforts but has caused many collections to exceed their budgets.

Because the LTRRRC has conducted more routine collections, planning budgets have become more consistent. The facility saves money because staff bundles the materials instead of a contractor. Contracting regularly scheduled shipping disposal trips and the ability to re-use certain items like latex paint also saves money.

Three more collection events at the facility are currently scheduled for fiscal year 2016 — March 2, June 1, and Sept. 7. The center is located at 3207 Neidhardt Drive, behind Lake Travis Fire Rescue Station 601.

> Learn more about the Lake Travis Regional Re-use and Recycling Center.
> Discover the CAPCOG Solid Waste Planning Program.
> Learn about the CAPCOG Solid Waste Grant Program.

The LTRRRC will accept: 

  • Household products — cleaning products, drain cleaners, oven cleaning solvents, degreasers, polishers, pool chemicals, household batteries, mercury thermometers, gas grill propane tanks; 
  • Paint products — latex and oil-based paints, spray paints, preservatives, strippers, etc.; or, 
  • Automotive products — antifreeze, car batteries, oil, oil filters, transmission fluid, brake fluid, etc. 
  • Accepted materials must come in their original containers for transport. 

The center will not take: 

  • Asbestos products — including linoleum tiles containing asbestos from older homes; 
  • Industrial waste — anything from a business; 
  • Medical waste — needles, prescriptions, etc.; 
  • Ammunition or explosives — fireworks, dynamite, etc.; 
  • Radioactive waste — smoke detectors, etc.; 
  • Compressed gas cylinders — except for gas grill propane tanks which are accepted; 
  • Tires; 
  • Appliances — small or large; or, 
  • Technology products — computers, printers, televisions, speakers, surround sound, other electronic equipment.

CAPCOG plans cybersecurity training

Monday, February 22, 2016

An assessment of how well critical communication systems and their support infrastructure will withstand cyberattacks is currently underway. The information will help improve cybersecurity preparedness for emergency managers and emergency communication directors by identifying cybersecurity gaps and facilitating future planning and training.

“Understanding your vulnerabilities and protecting against them builds resiliency and ensures systems continue to work despite a cyberattack,” said Eric Carter, CAPCOG Homeland Security director.

Several cities and counties in the CAPCOG region recently completed a voluntary cybersecurity survey offered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. A contractor, hired with U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant funds, will evaluate the survey results and provide the participating entities with greater insight about their cybersecurity emergency communication gaps. The survey results also will lay the foundation for workshops and several training exercises for communities region wide.

The workshop and first tabletop exercise are scheduled to take place in March 2016. A final report will give future direction on establishing plans throughout the region to prevent cyberattacks and aid in response and recovery efforts if critical communication systems are attacked.

> Read more about the CAPCOG Homeland Security Division.

TCEQ program converts vehicles to natural gas engines

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ) Texas Natural Gas Vehicle Grant Program (TNGVGP) provides funds to encourage an entity that owns and operates a heavy-duty or medium-duty motor vehicle to repower the vehicle with a natural gas engine or replace the vehicle with a natural gas vehicle.

The program is eligible to those that own, lease, or commercially finance a heavy-duty or medium-duty vehicle that operate in a list of 64 counties in Texas — Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson counties included. Eligible applicants include individuals, corporations, organizations, governments or governmental subdivisions or agencies, school districts, business trusts, partnerships, associations, or any other legal entity.

Grant applicants must go through a participating dealer under contract with the TCEQ to apply.

The deadline to apply to the grant is May 26, 2017.

> Find out more on the TNGVGP.
> Discover CAPCOG’s Air Quality Program.
> Learn about other vehicle emission reduction programs.

Department of Agriculture seeks rural communities for internship program

Thursday, February 18, 2016
Source: Texas Department of Agriculture

The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is inviting proposals from rural communities for the Texas Rural Internship Program. The program provides urban college students, who are at least juniors, an opportunity to experience life in a rural Texas community during the summer.

The program gives a unique, educational and productive summer internship that will mutually benefit the student and the community.

Participating communities have benefited from the program with a new perspective and talent from an intern to include updated technical skills, fresh computer skills, and working knowledge of social networking. In previous years, interns performed a variety of tasks and projects benefiting the host community.

Communities must submit a proposal by 5 p.m. March 15, 2016 to the TDA. In the proposal, communities will outline the work experience or project that would be assigned to a student intern. Communities also will provide details on room and board for the student, community service opportunities, opportunities for the student to gain knowledge about government and non-government organizations and unique regional opportunities.

The internship is designed to last five to ten weeks — one or two summer sessions. Internship dates are negotiable based on the schedule of the student intern and the host community.

> Read the full announcement for more details about applying to be a host community.

CAPCOG seeks local emission reduction projects for grant program

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The Capital Area Council of Governments opened the application process for a new local emission reduction grant program on Feb. 16, 2016. The grant, which targets commuter emission reduction projects and capital investments projects that reduce emissions, has an application deadline of April 15, 2016.

The grant is available to businesses, local governments, nonprofits and other organizations in the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area — Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties.

CAPCOG has allocated about $240,000 from its 2016-17 near-nonattainment area air quality planning grant for the new program. Organizations participating in the region’s Ozone Advance Program Action Plan will have an opportunity to receive more funding per ton of emissions reduced.

> Learn about and apply for the grant.
> Discover the CAPCOG Air Quality Program.

CAPCOG GIS launches free data website

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

CAPCOG’s GIS Program launched a new interactive-map website that increases accessibility to free regional information and makes the data easily downloadable. The creation of the CAPCOG Free Regional Data website has further enhanced the GIS Program’s ability to be a single resource of regional geographic information.

Hosted by ArcGIS Online, the site allows users to visually review numerous datasets before downloading the information for their own use. Currently available datasets include items such as city limits, floodplain boundaries, school district boundaries, the location of airports and parks, and archived street centerlines. Parcel boundaries also are available by county.

CAPCOG has generated a number of datasets located on the website, but it also has collected and compiled datasets from other entities. Some data placed on the website has more up-to-date counterparts such address points and street centerlines, which are packaged with the purchase of the Capital Area Addressing & Referencing Map (CAAR Map) database.

> Discover the regional data website.
> Learn about other GIS Program data services such as CAAR Map.

Newest Health and Wellness workshop teaches full course, more programs available

Monday, February 08, 2016

The Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area’s (AAACAP) first Diabetes Self-Management Program kicked off in January with a full class at the Bluffs Landing Senior Village in Round Rock. But like all of the agency’s Health and Wellness Programs, there is always room for more in communities around the region.

The Stanford Patient Education Research Center Chronic Disease Self-Management Program is a six-week, small-group workshop led by 2 trained facilitators. It is highly interactive and focuses on building skills and sharing experiences that help the day-to-day management of diabetes while maintaining or increasing daily activity. Participants must be 60 or older.

Other AAACAP Health and Wellness programs include: A Matter of Balance, which helps older adults reduce their risk and fear of falling; Stress-Busting for Family Caregivers, which helps caregivers manage the difficulties of caring for older adults and those with disabilities; and Better Choices, Better Health – Chronic Disease Self-Management, which helps adults manage chronic disease symptoms.

In January, seven programs were started in three CAPCOG counties allowing nearly 100 residents the opportunity to improve their health and wellness.

> Bring a AAACAP Health and Wellness Program to your community.
> Learn more about AAACAP.
 

CAPCOG to request air quality grant applications

Friday, February 05, 2016

The Capital Area Council of Governments will start accepting applications for a new local emission reduction grant program in mid-February. The grant will target commuter emission reduction projects and capital investments that reduce emissions in the Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)— Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson counties.

CAPCOG has allocated about $240,000 from its 2016-17 near-nonattainment area air quality planning grant for this new program. Entities in the Austin-Round Rock MSA can apply to the grant program. Organizations participating in the region’s Ozone Advance Program Action Plan will have an opportunity to receive more funding per ton of emissions reduced.

CAPCOG will post additional details about the grant program in mid-February on capcog.org.

> Discover the CAPCOG Air Quality Program.

CAPCOG Executive Committee elects officers

Thursday, February 04, 2016

The Capital Area Council of Governments Executive Committee elected Williamson County Commissioner Cynthia Long as its board chair for 2016. Long, who has served on the Executive Committee since 2007, was the committee’s first vice-chair in 2015. The committee elected Hutto Mayor Debbie Holland as its first vice chair. Holland has been on the Executive Committee since 2013 and serves on the Capital Area Economic Development District and the Central Texas Clean Air Coalition.

Last year’s chair, Elgin Mayor Marc Holm, remains an officer moving to the immediate past chair slot.

Other officers elected were Hays County Judge Bert Cobb as second vice chair and San Marcos Mayor Daniel Guerrero as secretary and parliamentarian.

> Discover CAPCOG's Executive Committee.

USDA extends application deadline for grants to help repair housing in rural communities

Wednesday, February 03, 2016
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is seeking applications for grants to make housing repairs for low- and very-low-income rural residents and has extended the deadline to March 15, 2016.

The grants are being provided through USDA Rural Development’s Housing Preservation Grant Program. This program is intended to help rural homeowners and rental housing owners repair and improve their properties. Funds may be used to resolve health or safety issues, make accessibility modifications for people with disabilities, or make energy efficiency improvements to reduce utility costs.

Eligible applicants for Housing Preservation Grants include town or county governments, public agencies, federally recognized Indian Tribes, nonprofits, and faith-based organizations. USDA does not provide funding directly to homeowners under this program.

Funding is limited, and applications will be evaluated on a competitive basis with scoring preference for applications that serve very-low-income households, demonstrate leveraged funding, show the applicant's capacity to successfully manage a housing repair program, and address other considerations as listed in the Federal Register notice.

> Read additional eligibility information.

Applications are accepted on an annual basis through a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) in the Federal Register.

> Read more about the extended deadline.
> Discover more about the grant.
> Read the grant overview.
> Contact your Rural Development State Office with questions.

CAPCOG committees serve vital role

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Seven advisory committees are integral to the program work performed by CAPCOG; their roles vary but ultimately the goal is to make recommendations on regional issues to CAPCOG’s Executive Committee. The committees’ work may include strategic planning, planning specific to a program’s work plan and funding goals, or making recommendations specific to state and federal funding. Some perform technical analysis and planning to assist CAPCOG staff with program implementation.

The Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC) assists with the development and implementation of the Regional Solid Waste Management Plan. It also contributes to establishing procedures for reviewing solid waste projects and evaluates the projects, such as landfills, as they are proposed throughout the region. The committee also preliminarily scores projects for CAPCOG Solid Waste Grant funding every biennium.

> Read more about the SWAC.

The CAECD Strategic Advisory Committee’s primary role is to conduct short- and long-term planning for the delivery of emergency communications throughout the region. It also forms ad hoc technical committees to focus on specific issues including Text-to-911, regional radio communications interoperability solutions, and back-up network systems for 9-1-1 delivery.

> Read more about the CAECD Strategic Adivsory Committee.

The Homeland Security Task Force works to develop plans to address the use of tools and training needed to respond to man-made or natural disasters. It also makes recommendations for the State Homeland Security Program grants. The Task Force has subcommittees who develop plans on technical response, regional preparedness, communications, and public health and medical issues.

> Read more about the Homeland Security Task Force.

The Aging Advisory Council (AAC) serves as a forum for planning and providing feedback on aging related issues to drive some of the initiatives for the region. It also provides input on the use of funding for services and assists in the review of the Area Agency on Aging Area Plan.

> Read mroe about the AAC.

The Criminal Justice Advisory Committee contributes to developing the annual funding priorities and regional strategic planning documents for criminal justice grants. It also scores and ranks grant funding applications.

> Read more about the CJAC.

The GIS Planning Council (GISPC) helps coordinate the mutual development, implementation, sharing and maintenance of geospatial data and Geographic Information Systems applications among CAPCOG members. It has created ad hoc committees to address the uses of GIS by government practitioners and to deploy more useful mapping tools for emergency responders.

> Read more about the GISPC.

The Law Enforcement Education Committee (LEEC) identifies training issues and helps establish standards followed by the Regional Law Enforcement Academy for Basic Peace Officer Courses and other specialized and mandated in-service training for law enforcement officers.

> Read more about the LEEC.
> Discover more about these committees. 

CAPCOG recognizes Mallia for volunteer service

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

CAPCOG honored Melinda Mallia, Travis County Natural Resources Division Director, with its second annual volunteer service award.

“Mallia’s commitment to the proper planning, management, and disposal of solid waste and household hazardous waste in the CAPCOG region can’t be eclipsed,” said Ken May, CAPCOG regional services director.

Mallia served on the CAPCOG Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC), from 1996 to mid-2015 — the longest serving local government staff member of any CAPCOG committee. Mallia was instrumental in the development of the Regional Solid Waste Grant Program, the Regional Solid Waste Management Plan and its priorities, the landfill conformance review process, the closed landfill inventory process, and the private industry dispute and resolution process. During her service on SWAC, she contributed to selecting more than 300 projects, which received $11.3 million in regional solid waste funding.

> Read more about the Solid Waste Advisory Committee.

Solid waste grants applications available for industry review

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Capital Area Council of Governments posted all 25 CAPCOG Solid Waste Grant Program applications, which local entities submitted to receive funding during the 2016-17 grant cycle, on capcog.org so private industry groups can review the applications.

Private industries that find issue with any of these applications have until 5 p.m. Jan. 19, 2-16to notify CAPCOG of their intent to dispute any application.

According to state law (Section 361.014 (b) of the Texas Health & Safety Code), a project or service funded under the Texas Regional Solid Waste Grants Program must promote cooperation between public and private entities, and the grant-funded project or service may not be otherwise readily available or create a competitive advantage over a private industry that provides recycling or solid waste services.

The request for applications ended Dec. 17 and the projects to receive funding should be selected in February.

> Review the applications.
> Discover more about the CAPCOG Solid Waste Grant Program.
> Read Section 361.014 of the Texas Health and Safety Code.
> Contact Matt Holderread, CAPCOG regional services grant coordinator, with concerns about an application, related to promoting cooperation between public and private entities.

Pitts earns Griesenbeck award

Monday, January 11, 2016

Lee County Commissioner Maurice Pitts accepts the Jack Griesenbeck Leadership in Regionalism Award from Elgin Mayor and CAPCOG Executive Committee Chair Marc Holm.

The Capital Area Council of Governments presented the 14th Jack Griesenbeck Leadership in Regionalism Award to Lee County Commissioner Maurice Pitts at its annual December meeting.

Pitts, who has more than 20 years of service as a Lee County Commissioner, began serving CAPCOG’s Solid Waste Advisory Committee in 1994. He was elected to CAPCOG’s Executive Committee in 1999 and in 2007 was elected chair of the governing body. Pitts also has served for several years on the Capital Area Economic Development District and was a founding member of the Capital Area Transportation Planning Organization, the state’s first rural planning organization created by CAPCOG in 1999. He still serves on all the committees today.

But it’s also the work beyond CAPCOG’s boundaries that distinguishes Pitt’s service toward regionalism. He represented CAPCOG on the board of the Texas Association of Regional Councils (TARC) from 2003 to 2015. There he served on TARC’s legislative and transportation committees and was elected TARC President in 2014. Pitts also represents the interests of COGs statewide on solid waste issues; he is serving a six-year term on the Municipal Solid Waste Management and Resource Recovery Advisory Committee that ends August 2017.

The award honors former Bastrop County Judge Jack Griesenbeck, CAPCOG’s first chair and TARC’s first president.

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