Bond Election for City Roads
Re: Whether a county may call a bond election to fund the construction, repair,
improvement, and maintenance of city roads (RQ-0319-KP).
Submitted by Lilli A. Hensley
Sterling County Attorney
Summary, Opinion No. KP-311: A county may call a bond election under Texas Constitution article III, section 52(b) or (c) and expend bond funds for the construction, repair, improvement, and maintenance of city streets if the county has municipal consent and determines that the city streets are an integral part of or a connecting link to a county road or a state highway. Having satisfied those requirements, a county need not buy the roads and the city need not disincorporate in order for the county to expend bond proceeds on such city streets.
Hearing on Application for Mental Health Services
Re: Whether a hearing on an application for court-ordered mental health services conducted pursuant to section 574.031 of the Health and Safety Code must be recorded by an official court reporter (RQ-0321-KP).
Submitted by Heather Stebbins
Kerr County Attorney
Summary, Opinion No. KP-312: Subsection 574.031(g) of the Health and Safety Code requires that a hearing on an application for court-ordered mental health services be on the record. A court would likely conclude that subsection 574.031(g) imposes a duty on a county court or court at law holding such a hearing in Kerr County to use its official court reporter to make a record of the proceedings.
Amended Service Contract
Re: Application of article III, section 53 of the Texas Constitution to invoices submitted to a county under an amended service contract for services performed prior to the amendment (RQ-0323-KP).
Submitted by Roberto Serna
293rd Judicial District
Summary, Opinion No. KP-315: Article III, section 53 of the Texas Constitution prohibits a county or municipal authority from granting extra compensation “after service has been rendered, or a contract has been entered into, and performed in whole or in part.” A county’s payment of an amount owed under a contract for services required by that contract is not prohibited extra compensation. Though some services may have already been provided under an original contract, if an amended contract is supported by new consideration, payment of an invoice submitted thereunder would comply with article III, section 53 provided the new consideration is sufficient. A change in the scope of work to require additional services in exchange for an additional payment likely constitutes adequate consideration in support of the amendment, but that is a question for the Commissioners Court in the first instance.