Modular homes planned for Rancho Brazos on hold

January 15, 2014

County Commissioners yesterday were going to be forced to table an agenda item pertaining to modular homes for tornado victims. Precinct 3 Commissioner Jeff Tout explained to the Hood County News on Monday that the county could not legally accept the structures.

The regular meeting of the Commissioners Court took place as the newspaper went to press.

Tout said that Mel Birdwell, wife of state Sen. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury), had been involved in securing eight modular homes for tornado-ravaged Rancho Brazos from Fort Hood. However, the only entities that can accept delivery of them are those that have contracts with the federal government, Tout explained.

Initially, the American Red Cross was going to accept delivery of the eight homes, but the organization backed out in late December. Tout said he was not sure why. The HCN was unable to reach before press time others with knowledge of the situation.

Modular homes are sectional, prefabricated houses that consist of multiple sections, or modules. They are built in a factory-like setting, then transported to other locations, where they are assembled by a builder.

The homes that were coming to Rancho Brazos were between 1,500 and 1,600 square feet, Tout said. One was to be used for a time by Hood County nonprofits such as United Way and Habitat for Humanity. Tout said that the house was to eventually become someone’s home, like the other seven.

Tout said that the agenda item was going to have to be tabled because the Commissioners Court does not have the legal authority to place government property on private property.

“That’s why we’re tabling it,” he said. “We don’t have the authority to do what they’re requesting that we do.”

The commissioner said that those involved are exploring other options for getting the homes to Rancho Brazos.

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