Dave Rogers

For The Record

The General Land Office of Texas is offering Orange County homeowners up to $50,000 reimbursement for personal costs incurred to repair their home after Tropical Storm Harvey.

Joel Ardoin, Orange County’s emergency management coordinator, explained the program after Tuesday’s meeting of Commissioners’ Court.

“HAP [Homeowners Assistance Program] is for helping homeowners rehabilitate their homes,” he said.

“This Homeowners Reimbursement Program is for homeowners that have completed their rebuilding,” he said.

“If they used their personal funds or took a loan out from a bank, this will reimburse them up to $50,000 if they meet all the criteria.”

To be eligible, the home has to have been the owner’s primary residence at the time of the August 2017 storm.

As part of the application process, homeowners will be asked to submit receipts for all repairs made, detailing what work was performed; submit financial documents regarding the source of payment for the repairs; certify any and all disaster assistance received after Harvey and submit documents indicating that damages were caused by Harvey.

All repairs must be completed prior to the submission of an application by the homeowner and each home will be required to undergo an environmental review prior to the disbursement of any funds.

A checklist of documents required can be found at recovery.texas.gov . Once at that page, click on the tab for Information for Individuals, then click on programs and then on Homeowner Reimbursement Program Overview.

Ardoin said applications and assistance are available at the Orange County Convention and Expo Center, 11475 FM 1442, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays.

Only three members of the commissioners’ court were in town Tuesday as Commissioners Johnny Trahan and John Gothia were gone for state-required training.

Commissioners Theresa Beauchamp and Robert Viator joined County Judge Dean Crooks in voting 3-0 on 25 of the 26 action items on the agenda, including designating a reinvestment zone in west Orange County so Jefferson Energy, which already has two abatements through the county, will be eligible for one from the Orange County Drainage District.

The county welcomed $486,000 in a direct deposit for its share of the December sales tax and a collection report showing the county government’s share of taxes paid in January is $19.7 million.

Meanwhile, County Auditor Pennee Schmitt got the retroactive OK to pay $32,000 in bills for last week, when commissioners lacked a quorum to meet. She also got the real-time OK to pay $248,000 in bills for Feb. 19.