North & East Texas
Bell County Commissioners Court selected Eleven Thirteen Architects, of Georgetown, for architectural and engineering work for a new animal shelter in Belton. Commissioners also voted to purchase for $1.1 million a new software system for the jail from Michigan-based New World Systems.
Cass County Commissioners Court approved the purchase of 23 GPS units for the sheriff’s department and volunteer fire departments with federal grants.
Cherokee County Commissioners Court approved a contract of $610,000 with Allen Fielding Electrical Company for generators for the water and fire departments.
Ellis County Commissioners Court accepted a grant from the Texas Department of Public Safety to continue an emergency notification warning system that requires no matching funds from the county.
Franklin County Commissioners Court approved a bid of $2.3 million from RBR Construction, of Weatherford, for exterior restoration of the courthouse.
Grayson County Commissioners Court approved an industrial reinvestment zone in Sherman and tax abatements for GlobiTech, which is investing $34 million in new equipment and improvements at its plant.
Gregg County Commissioners Court approved the purchase for $380,000 of a hangar at East Texas Regional Airport to house a Texas DPS helicopter and crew. “We were the only section of Texas that did not have first access to a DPS helicopter,” Judge Bill Stoudt told the Longview News-Journal.
Grimes County received a grant of $1.9 million from the Texas Department of Rural Affairs to purchase large generators to use during emergencies.
Harrison County Commissioners Court approved tax abatements for Activa Products in Marshall, one of the world’s largest suppliers of arts and crafts supplies. Activa’s previous building was destroyed in a fire in 2008.
Henderson County Commissioners Court approved a resolution to send to the Texas Legislature requesting a two percent hotel-motel tax to benefit the county’s regional fair park.
Johnson County Commissioners Court approved software license and services agreements of $33,066 for law enforcement agencies with Florida-based SunGard Public Sector. Annual maintenance cost is $8,000. Commissioners also reappointed Debbie Rice to serve as treasurer until the 2012 general election.
Kaufman County Judge Wayne Gent retired Dec. 31, 2010, after 20 years as county judge. He called county government “the mainstay of the people…Nowhere else can you come in and see your county judge, your elected representatives, up close,” Gent told the Kaufman Herald. “You can’t do that in Washington. You can come in here and see me or your commissioner or whoever. I just love being the county judge.” Also, commissioners approved two new water supply districts in the county.
Leon County Commissioners Court accepted a “check” for $217,465 for the value of more than 10,000 hours provided by 421 volunteers to the AgriLife Extension Service in 2010, including 4-H Clubs and Master Gardeners.
McLennan County Commissioners Court reached an agreement with Dallas-based TouchPay to operate a kiosk at the jail visitation center to process inmate phone and trust deposits.
Milam County Commissioners Court appointed Linda Acosta to a two-year term as county treasurer, according to the Cameron Herald, replacing Danica Lara, who submitted a letter of decline after being elected to the position in November so she can continue as county auditor.
Rusk County Commissioners Court honored coaches and players from the Henderson High School football team for winning the 2010 Class 3A Division I state championship. The court also honored Judge Sandra Hodges who retired after 24 years.
Sabine County received a $180,000 grant for about 30 on-site sewer systems for low to moderate-income residents, including female head of household, elderly and disabled residents.
Shelby County Commissioners Court approved a request to use office space in a former elementary school building for a counseling center.
Titus County Commissioners Court heard reports from Judge Sam Russell on approval of a grant from the Texas Fair Defense Act for indigent defense and low-interest emergency disaster loans from the Farm Service Agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Wood County Commissioners Court accepted a ceremonial “check” from local Master Gardeners for $105,586 representing 5,165 volunteer hours during the past year.
Aransas County Commissioners Court allocated $100,000 from the county’s hotel occupancy tax fund for expansion of the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce visitors center.
Austin County has a new commissioner, Douglas W. King, who was sworn in by his father, Justice of the Peace Dennis R. King. Commissioner King’s grandfather, Leonard Melnar, was county judge from 1975-90.
Bexar County Commissioners Court voted to contribute $15 million in county funds from a venue tax approved by voters to support amateur sports for proposed soccer and track and field facilities at UT-San Antonio.
Burleson County Commissioners Court awarded a contract of $226,435 to Rhodes Building Systems of Somerville to build new offices for the Precinct 1 justice of the peace and constable in Deanville.
Caldwell County Commissioners Court approved the purchase of $1.2 million in certificates of obligation to be repaid in 20 years for the maintenance and renovation of the courthouse and judicial center.
Comal County Commissioners Court approved county participation in a proposed local metropolitan planning organization (MPO) and allocated $18,000 to help fund the MPO. “We’re trying to avoid being sucked into the San Antonio MPO,” Judge Danny Scheel told the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung.
DeWitt County Commissioners Court approved the purchase of an emergency notification system with a federal grant of $7,200.
Fayette County Commissioners Court honored the volleyball team from Round Top Carmine for its 2010 Class A state championship.
Guadalupe County Commissioners Court approved tax abatements for Continental Automotive Systems in Seguin, which is planning equipment enhancements of $18.5 million and the addition of 200 employees.
Harris County Commissioners Court approved a trial program for its sheriff’s office to allow low-risk jail inmates to serve sentences at home in ankle monitors. The Houston Chronicle reported that the county has about 800 offenders who serve their sentences on weekends and another 1,000 inmates who are housed in other jails in Texas and Louisiana. “The idea is to keep Harris County safe and save money in the process,” Sheriff Adrian Garcia said.
Jackson County honored Harrison Stafford for 38 years of service, including the last 20 as the county’s longest-tenured judge and 18 years earlier as county auditor.
Jim Hogg County Commissioners Court awarded a contract of $149,800 to Techno Line Sports Lighting to install lights at two baseball fields in Kohler Park.
La Salle County began the second phase of the restoration of its 80-year-old courthouse in January. Offices are expected to return to the building in January 2012 after the $3.5 million project. “It’s amazing to see how well it was built,” Judge Joel Rodriguez told the Frio-Nueces Current. “It was a thing of beauty back then, and it will be a showpiece for generations to come.”
Lavaca County Commissioners Court approved donations by Dickson-Allen Foundation of $15,000 to the senior citizens program, $20,000 for records retention equipment, and $40,000 to the rescue service.
Travis County purchased for $21.75 million a downtown block from Austin Museum of Art to build a civil and family courthouse.
Washington County Commissioners Court honored the undefeated football team from Brenham Christian Academy for its 2010 TAPPS Division II six-man state championship.
Wharton County Commissioners Court approved a five-year tax abatement for Nan Ya Plastics, which is planning $5 million in improvements to its plant in Wharton with 15 additional employees.
Williamson County Commissioners Court approved a contract with Parsons Commercial Technology to develop architectural plans for a new $18 million building with 27,000 square feet to house the county’s emergency services.
Archer County opened its new law enforcement center, a $5.8 million facility with offices and a 48-bed jail with new medical and holding cells to replace a 12-bed jail.
Borden County Commissioners Court approved a reinvestment zone and abatement agreement with Mesquite Creek Wind LLC.
Brewster County officially opened its new justice center in Marathon.
Brown County Commissioners Court accepted an annual report on 4-H programs from the county Extension office that included a feast of holiday treats. “4-H fixes a problem before it happens,” Commissioner Larry Traweek told the Brownwood Bulletin.
Cochran County Commissioners Court approved a grant of $25,000 to Frontier EMS for ambulance service.
Dawson County Commissioners Court accepted a Lone Star Library grant of $5,900 and approved $1,900 of the state grant for the purchase of Wii and other computer games for teenagers and young adults.
Hemphill County Commissioners Court voted to expand the county’s industrial park to include two additional pieces of property already owned by the county in a cooperative program with the city of Canadian, chamber of commerce, and economic development council.
Hudspeth County Commissioners Court voted to install security equipment for the county barn, where often a single county employee works alone.
Kerr County added a new commissioner, Guy Overby, who was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Bill Williams, who died in December. Commissioners also accepted the donation of land in Kerrville South for a fire station.
Llano County Commissioners Court approved the transfer of the county’s lease with Llano Memorial Hospital and the county’s agreements for indigent care and emergency services from the Llano County Hospital Authority to Scott & White Healthcare.
Potter County Commissioners Court approved a five-year tax abatement for Zarges Aluminum Systems, a manufacturer of internal structures for wind turbines that will open a plant of 80,000 square feet and employ 100 to 150 people in Amarillo.
Randall County is constructing a $150,000 complex for its 4-H program. The metal barn of 5,000 square feet, which includes animal pens, was financed by county funds and donations.
Terry County Commissioners Court adopted a county investment policy and appointed the county treasurer and county auditor as investment officers.
Tom Green County Commissioners Court approved a contract with Angelo’s Donuts and Café to operate a café for patrons of the new library, scheduled to open this month.
Ward County conducted dedication ceremonies for its new EMS building in Monahans.
Young County Commissioners Court approved tax abatements for BP North America, which this spring plans to begin construction on the first wind farm in the county. – Compiled by Garner Roberts