Jasper County is withdrawing from the Deep East Texas Council of Governments, less than two years after the regional planning authority moved its headquarters from Jasper to Lufkin.
The county’s move to the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission — SETRPC — was approved Tuesday by Gov. Greg Abbott. DETCOG officials say transferring programs and services “will take place over a period of time.” No official time table was given when the transfer was announced Wednesday.
Texas is divided into 24 planning and economic development regions. SETRPC is based in Beaumont and includes Hardin, Jefferson and Orange counties. DETCOG, which moved its headquarters to Lufkin from Jasper in 2019, will continue to cover Angelina, Houston, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity and Tyler counties.
Jasper County officials have been participating in some SETRPC meetings during the past two years, Jasper Judge Mark Allen said.
“Through this process, it was learned that the vast majority of Jasper County’s daily out of county commerce and employment migration was to SETPRC counties, as well as for medical, veterans and higher education services,” he said.
DETCOG director Lonnie Hunt said regional officials supported the move.
“We respect the right of Jasper County officials to divide where they will best be served,” he said. “We will do everything we can to ensure a smooth transition as we hand off existing programs in Jasper County to SETRPC.”
Originally organized in Diboll in late 1966, DETCOG was based in Jasper for more than four decades before moving to Lufkin in December 2019 to provide a more centralized location for services in the multiple-county region.