North & East Texas
Bell County Commissioners Court approved $1.6 million in roadwork for 2011, including bridge and drainage work, repairs and new construction.
Cass County Commissioners Court approved grant contracts for $791,176 in repairs from flood damage – 75 percent from the Natural Resources Conservation Commission and 25 percent from the Texas Department of Rural Affairs.
Collin County Judge Keith Self was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to a task force studying unfunded mandates from state government to cities, counties and school districts.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, one month into his term, suffered a broken leg in a fall on ice in his driveway. As promised, he directed the ambulance to take him for treatment to Parkland Memorial Hospital, the county’s public hospital. “I knew I had the opportunity to see things as a Parkland patient,” he told the Dallas Morning News. “It was a valuable experience.”
Ellis County Judge Carol Bush has been elected CEO of the North Central Texas Workforce Development Board.
Grayson County Commissioners Court selected Ridgemont Commercial Construction of Irving for a renovation and expansion project at the county jail expected to cost $4.5 million.
Gregg County Commissioners Court approved a new contract with Humane Society of Northeast Texas to house stray animals for $30,000 a year.
Harrison County received a grant of $350,000 from the Texas Department of Rural Affairs for water system improvements for the Karnack Water Supply Corp.
Jefferson County Commissioners Court approved a contract of $1.1 million with Williamson Equipment and Construction for drainage improvements in South Central Gardens, including a new channel under the Kansas City Southern Railroad tracks and State Highway 347.
Johnson County Commissioners Court approved contracts of $1.25 million with LaSalle Southwest Corrections of Dripping Springs for a 96-bed expansion of the law enforcement center and $964,000 with RBR Construction for an emergency operations center.
Kaufman County is joining a federal narcotics task force, according to the Kaufman Herald, in a cooperative effort to combat illegal drugs without adding to the county budget. Sheriff David Byrnes said it gives the county access to more tools to combat drug trafficking.
Limestone County Commissioners Court voted to purchase a new telephone system for $30,720 for the courthouse from Custom Telephone Systems of Waco.
Marion County Commissioners Court approved an electronic imaging project of district court records with Net Data of Sulphur Springs for $49,600.
McLennan County Commissioners Court approved the replacement of zinc metal eagles damaged by weather on the roof of the historic courthouse with custom-made cast aluminum eagles at a cost of $149,195.
Milam County Commissioners Court will receive $250,000 from the Texas Department of Rural Affairs and $65,000 from the Milano VFD for its new community center and shelter. The facility of 3,742 square feet with a kitchen, restrooms, and sleeping area is expected to cost $315,643.
Montgomery County Commissioner Craig Doyal has been elected board chair for 2011 for the Houston-Galveston Area Council.
Nacogdoches County Commissioners Court authorized the architecture firm of Goodwin Lassiter to plan construction of an emergency shelter at the county expo center.
Rains County Commissioners Court approved two years of tax abatements for a $3 million Best Western Hotel in Emory.
Red River County Commissioners Court approved a $15,000 project to restore the four clocks on the courthouse tower by Pennsylvania-based Verdin Company. Funding was provided by the Red River County Historical Society.
Rusk County Commissioners Court approved a $10 fee for fingerprinting for non-county residents. The service remains free for county residents.
Shelby County Commissioners Court approved the purchase for $12,500 of the Guard 1 Plus jail software system to monitor and improve the safety of prisoners.
Smith County Commissioner JoAnn Hampton was honored by her alma mater, Texas College, at its annual Legacy Dinner.
Trinity County received a grant of $20,000 from the Deep East Texas Council of Governments to employ a part-time environmental officer to enforce state health and safety regulations.
Upshur County Commissioners Court accepted a bid of $98,741 from Chrietzberg Electric of Mineola for generators for Pritchett Water Supply Corp. and Bi-County Water Supply Corp. A state grant will fund the project.
Burleson County Commissioners Court approved tax abatements for a new 48-bed Best Western Motel in Caldwell and a contract of $181,828 with JDB Contractors of Bryan for expansion of facilities for the sheriff’s department.
Caldwell County Commissioners Court voted to arm courthouse and annex bailiffs with Taser electronic control devices at a cost of $3,600. The Lockhart Post-Register reported that “there have been security concerns” in both buildings.
Calhoun County Commissioners Court voted to support creation of a groundwater conservation district, approved the expense of $170,590 for a tanker truck for the Six Mile VFD, and purchased for $145,000 a new EMS ambulance.
Chambers County Commissioners Court voted to continue its violence against women programs with $80,000 in federal grants and a $14,000 match from the county.
Comal County Commissioners Court voted to spend $154,000 for improvements to Evans Sports Park at Spring Branch and Hidden Valley Sports Park at Canyon Lake. Commissioners also accepted $8.67 million as the maximum price for courthouse restoration by RBR Construction of Weatherford.
Fayette County Commissioners Court voted to purchase four Lifepak defibrillator units for EMS vehicles at a cost of $124,274.
Fort Bend County received $75,000 from the George Foundation for playground equipment at Barbara Jordan Park in Needville.
Gillespie County Commissioners Court awarded $14,400 to the Stonewall VFD and $2,750 for first responders.
Guadalupe County Commissioners Court approved a contract for site evaluation services to replace septic tanks in Rancho Vista and Redwood with Alamo Septic of La Vernia.
Harris County Commissioners Court created a new department in Pasadena, pollution control services, from its public health services department with “minimal or no increase in expenditures.”
Hays County approved the purchase for $47,000 of a new van to transport veterans to the Audie Murphy VA Hospital in San Antonio. Funding for the van with wheelchair access was provided by the Texas Department of Transportation. Commissioners also voted to construct a new Precinct 2 office building for an estimated $4.3 million.
Jim Hogg County began construction of its new $5 million jail after commissioners amended plans for the 48-bed facility by adding an isolated cell for violent offenders.
Lavaca County Commissioners Court approved tax abatements for Enterprise Hydrocarbons, which plans a $590 million Yoakum Gas Plant in the county.
Wharton County Commissioners Court approved an agreement with Houston-Galveston Area Council to oversee the county’s 9-1-1 addressing system.
Wilson County has a new commissioner for Precinct 3. Ricky R. Morales was appointed to replace Bobby Lynn of Stockdale, who died recently after serving since 1997.
Andrews County Commissioners Court approved a contract of $126,448 with Vaisala, Inc., for a weather observation station at the airport. The county also received a grant of $3.2 million from the Texas Department of Transportation for improvements at the airport.
Dickens County Commissioners Court approved a contract of $231,050 with Doc Tech Specialties for improvements for Valley Water WSC.
Ector County Commissioners Court approved a contract of $349,970 with Hawkins Construction to build a cemetery office building.
Gaines County Commissioners Court voted to spend $254,040 with Local Government Solutions of Houston to convert records of the county clerk and district clerk to digital format.
Mitchell County Commissioners Court hired DRG Architects of San Antonio for proposed construction of a new enforcement center and jail.
Terry County Commissioners Court approved revisions to plans for courthouse renovation that now call for $2.5 million in upgrades, including new heating and air conditioning systems and a new security system from Guardian Security Systems of Lubbock.
Throckmorton County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a request for $75,000 from Throckmorton County Memorial Hospital.
Wilbarger County Commissioners Court approved a $750,000 project for expansion and remodeling of a building and roads at the county airport used by wind turbine manufacturing company Tangarie Alternative Power, which plans to employ up to 60 people in three years.
Young County received a grant of $900,000 from the state’s Energy Conservation Office to install solar panels at the county jail. The project requires a 20 percent match of $180,000 by the county. H – Compiled by Garner Roberts