Five presentations from participating Program Management Firms in connection with the design & construction of a new Hidalgo County Courthouse presented their qualifications during today's Commissioners Court. Commissioners Court will use the information provided by the firms to rank them at the next regular meeting onTuesday, Oct. 18.

The Purchasing Department will collect the individual scoring sheets from each member of Commissioners Court to rank the companies for the purpose of selecting a project management firm. 

The five firms that presented were Dannebaum, Hill International, JLL, Jacob's Project Management Co., and Broaddus and Project Control.

The firms were each given 10 minutes to present their qualifications prior to taking questions from Commissioners Court.

K-9 Deputy Dick retires after seven years of honorable service

K-9 Deputy Dick has devoted his entire adult life to serve and protect the deputies and citizens of Hidalgo County.  

The nine-and-a-half-year-old Belgium Malinois was assigned to the Narcotic Enforcement Unit, where he served assisting in investigations and criminal highway interdiction, and was responsible for the seizure of several thousand pounds of illicit narcotics.

"We wanted to bring K-9 Deputy Dick with us today, but he was in a competition," said Capt. Raul Cantu. "He will definitely be missed by many."

Deputy Dick served for seven years before being retired due to an injury on his right knee. The K-9 was adopted by his long-time handler Sr. Deputy Javier Solis Jr.  

Division Chief Gabriel Castaneda said that the welfare of the dogs is always a priority.  

"Once our dogs retire, we ask the handler to try and take him in if able and willing, if not, we go to the animal's partner, by then they usually are taken in, however if that's not the case, we try to find a responsible person who is able to give the animal a home," said Castaneda, following the meeting. "Our goal is to find an appropriate match."

Urban County seeks Community Development Block Grant

Urban County Program Director Diana Serna received the go-ahead from Commissioners Court to seek grant funding to help six economically disadvantaged communities in Hidalgo County.

The Texas Community Development Block Grant application for the Colonia Economically Distressed Areas Program is for up to $1 million to provide first-time sewer services for low and moderate-income people living in colonias. By resolution, Commissioners Court authorized the Urban County Program to apply for the grant.