DETCOG Holds Meeting in Kennard

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

HOUSTON COUNTY –  The Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) held a luncheon and board meeting in Houston County Friday, Feb. 24 at Larry Bruce’s Garden near Kennard. The board met to coordinate efforts among the counties in East Texas represented by the council. 

DETCOG is made up of 11 counties, 40 cities, 36 school districts and one Native American tribal council. Spanning over 9,400 miles and with a population of almost 340,000 people, the council represents an area larger than several states. The voluntary association covers Angelina, Houston, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity and Tyler counties and helps to promote economic development, coordination and eliminating duplicate efforts among its members. 

DETCOG has been working in Houston County to update internet speeds and asking residents to report on these in order to lobby the federal government for more funds to be allocated to East Texas for this purpose. 

During a recent visit to Houston County, Representative Pete Sessions told The Messenger how Houston County’s Lonnie Hunt (DETCOG Executive Director) recently traveled to the capital to inform lawmakers about the unique needs and challenges facing east Texas. 

Special invitees to the luncheon and meeting were Houston County Judge Jim Lovell, Kennard Mayor Jesse Stephens, and Houston County Commissioners Gary Lovell, Willie Kitchen, Gene Stokes, and Jimmy Henderson. Many Houston County officials were present from the sheriff’s office and local county government. 

Judge Lovell thanked the work DETCOG does saying, “you have different governments throughout our 12 county region with cities, counties, river authorities and people who come together to make decisions just to help our region.”

On the agenda were a regional Homeland Security planning project, enhancing communications, chemical detection and a regional law enforcement training academy. 

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]

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