Brown County is in the beginning phase of joining a program through the Texas Historic Commission that will make the county eligible for financial assistance in several areas, County Attorney Shane Britton told the commissioners court Monday.

As a Certified Local Government, the county will be eligible:

• To compete for Texas Historic Commission grants ranging from $2,000 to $30,000.

• For preservation activities.

• For development of educational purposes.

• For development and publication of walking/driving tours.

• For rehabilitation of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places or contributing to a National Register Historic District.

• For access to technical assistance and no-cost state training.

There is no cost to the county to become a Certified Local Government, although Texas Historic Commissioner grants are 50 percent matching.

Britton spoke to the commissioners court on behalf of Bob Contreras, who works part time for the county as grants coordinator. Contreras was not able to attend Monday’s meeting.

Britton said he understands that Contreras will ask commissioners at their next meeting to approve the appointment of Historic Preservation Officer and four Certified Local Government committee members — a requirement for becoming a Certified Local Government, Britton told commissioners.

Britton said he expects Contreras to ask commissioners to appoint historian and Early Mayor Bob Mangrum as the Historic Preservation Officer and Becky Isbell, David Cole, Beverly Norris and Crystal Stanley as committee members.

“(Contreras) said he had talk to you and promised that he would not just show up one day and ask you to approve something without giving you a chance to read it first,” Britton told commissioners.

“I know Bob has done a tremendous amount of work on this particular program and he’s doing a really good job.” 

In other business Monday, commissioners:

• Took no action regarding the sale of ireworks during the Memorial Day holiday period. Taking no action means fireworks will not allowed to be sold in the county.

•  Agreed to leave the burn ban off due to recent rains.

• Approved a request by Elections Administrator Larry Franks to attend the National Election Center conference and graduation in Orlando, Florida. Franks said the trip will cost around $2,100 and will be mostly funded through Chapter 19 funds from the Texas Secretary of State’s office.

• Approved the purchase of a mower for $34,6522.