North & East Texas
Angelina County is in the first year of a six-year contract with the Regional Capital Public Defender program. “This is a lot less burdensome on taxpayers,” Judge Wes Suiter told the Lufkin News. “We’re a medium-sized county, but these little rural areas have a really hard time finding someone.”
Bowie County Commissioner John Addington of Precinct 2 resigned for health reasons. “I have enjoyed the 17-plus years as county commissioner,” he said, “and will look back fondly at the many positive accomplishments we have achieved.”
Cass County Commissioners Court voted to continue to support the county’s program of dry hydrants, non-pressurized hydrants installed in rural areas where pressurized water sources are not common. The Atlanta Citizens Journal reported the county has 80 dry hydrants, more than any other county in the state, purchased with funds from the Texas Forest Service.
Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to make a bond debt payment of $310,000, which was principal that would have been due in 2018 on the bond for the CR 4200 facility. Commissioners said it was “a big step in the right direction towards their goal of being a debt-free county.”
Gregg County Commissioners Court hired architects from Hugman Architecture and Construction of Longview to oversee a major project to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Harrison County Commissioners Court approved a $1.7 million contract with ABM Building Services of Dallas for upgrades to four facilities with energy-efficient equipment. The county expects to save $62,000 a year in energy costs.
Henderson County Commissioners Court awarded the county’s contract for indigent health care prescription drugs to U.S. Scripps. Commissioners also approved at a cost of $285,000 the replacement of the video system in 37 patrol vehicles with equipment from Houston-based Coban Technologies.
Kaufman County Commissioners Court approved its 2013 residential childcare contract with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to provide funds for a children’s shelter. Also, Kaufman received a grant of $48,214 from TCEQ and the North Central Texas Council of Governments to remove illegally dumped tires.
Leon County Commissioners Court received a visit from the county’s 4H Leadership for Life team, which won the state contest, as it prepares for the national contest in Denver, Colo. The Buffalo Press reported that “Leon County continues to have the most (4H) participation of any county in the state.”
Nacogdoches County Commissioners Court approved rules and regulations for Lake Naconiche, a new lake with skiing in a designated 106-acre area, as recommended by park commissioners. The county also received a state grant of $2.5 million to renovate a building for a technical training center and to purchase generators for eight water systems.
Navarro County Commissioners Court voted to accept a state grant of $4.5 million to use in a $9.5 million courthouse restoration project.
Rockwall County Commissioner David Magness talked with the Texas Film Commission and the Dallas Film Commission about consideration of Rockwall County and its facilities as destinations. “I think the opportunities are out there,” Magness told the Rockwall County News. “My goal is to increase commerce in the county plus increase publicity in the county.”
Rusk County Commissioners Court approved an agreement with Crystal Farms Water Supply to provide first-time water service to 33 residences in rural Rusk County at a cost of $331,670 with a Texas Community Development Block Grant.
Smith County received a federal grant of $66,745 in the Edward Byrne memorial justice assistant program.
Trinity County Commissioners Court approved a $50,000 contract with E-nnovations Technologies and Marketing of Houston to digitize the county’s land records and make them available on the Internet.
Upshur County Commissioners Court approved an Eagle Scout project for landscaping and rainwater harvesting at the justice center and the tax office.
Van Zandt County Commissioners Court passed a tax note series of $740,000 to purchase property in downtown Canton near the courthouse.
Walker County Commissioners Court approved the purchase of 12.6 acres of land in Huntsville from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for $157,500 for construction of a new jail. Sedalco Construction of Fort Worth will manage construction of the $18 million building.
Wood County received donations of 0.152 acres of land to allow extension of the taxiway at the airport and a canine from Lackland AFB for drug searches for the sheriff’s office.
Bastrop County Commissioners Court approved the purchase of a new digital telephone system from CISCO Systems for $245,302 for the courthouse, JP offices, and juvenile and adult probation offices.
Burleson County received a state grant of $275,000 in the community development program for water system improvements for Cade Lake Water Supply Corp.
Comal County received a grant of $8,300 from the Alamo Area Council of Governments – to be matched with an equal amount of county funds – for an e-waste program at the county’s recycling center. Residents may discard televisions, desktop computers, printers and other electronic devices. Also, Comal expects to save $98,000 a year, according to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, after an audit of its telephone system found numerous unused phone lines.
Hays County sponsored a training class for first responders to recognize and understand autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which causes social, communication and behavioral challenges. “Being able to recognize signs of ASD and understand that the person is not intentionally being uncommunicative or disruptive can go a long way to ensuring that the interaction is successful for all,” John Roppolo of the district attorney’s office told the Dripping Springs News Dispatch.
Hidalgo County has plans for a new $76 million courthouse that include annual payments of about $500,000 for 30 years from the city of Edinburg, according to the Mission Progress Times. The city is also contributing $200,000 for the design phase. “Our judicial system and administrative needs have long outgrown the existing courthouse,” Judge Ramon Garcia said. Also, commissioners approved the purchase of two modular buildings to use as courtrooms during renovations to the administration building.
Jackson County Commissioners Court accepted a grant of $100,000 from the Johnson Foundation for construction of a radio tower. “The tower is for public safety,” Sheriff Andy Louderback told the Jackson County Herald Tribune. “It will become our main tower for all communications for the fire department, EMS and law enforcement.”
Live Oak County Commissioners Court approved a bid from Klein Engineering of San Antonio for a project with the El Oso Water Supply Corp. A Community
Development Block Grant of $500,000 will fund installation of water lines and pressure substations near Kenedy.
Medina County Commissioners Court approved the move of CR 4711 to allow for a runway extension at the airport to 5,000 feet to attract corporate jets and to allow the sale of jet fuel.
Williamson County Commissioners Court approved a plan to remove about 250 dead trees on the county’s disc golf course, which had been closed for safety concerns.
Crane County Commissioners Court approved a resolution to establish a groundwater conservation district in cooperation with Ward and Winkler counties, which earlier passed resolutions for the district.
Eastland County Commissioners Court approved a plan to allow jurors to donate jury pay to programs approved by the court.
El Paso County Commissioners Court approved the creation of a procurement review panel “to ensure that county business is conducted in an ethical manner,” according to the El Paso Times. The roles of the panel are “to provide oversight to maximize the purchasing value of public funds” and “to provide safeguards to minimize opportunities for fraud or corruption.” Commissioners also voted to support the creation of a regional planning organization with New Mexico, Fort Bliss, White Sands Missile Range and Holloman Air Force Base.
Erath County Commissioners Court approved a grant of $18,000 to Meals on Wheels to qualify it for additional funding from the Texas Department of Agriculture.
Lampasas County Commissioners Court reached an agreement with Metroplex Health System to make Rollins Brook Community Hospital the administrator of the indigent health care program.
Midland County Commissioners Court approved a $3.3 million contract with Pharr & Co. for work on the new public library and $97,025 for computers and software for the library from the Broadleaf Co.
Schleicher County Commissioners Court met in Eldorado with commissioners from McCulloch County to share information about roads. Schleicher has one road superintendent with multiple crews, and McCulloch has a superintendent and crew for each precinct.
Scurry County Commissioners Court approved the hiring of Vermont-based Kofile for $399,062 for records preservation. Kofile also has offices in Dallas and Carson City, Nev.
Tarrant County Commissioner Roy C. Brooks was appointed to the board of directors for the National Association of Counties at its annual convention in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Wheeler County Commissioners Court approved the purchase for $135,000 of a 2012 Chevrolet G4500 ambulance with a trade-in allowance of $28,000 for a 2009 Ford E450 ambulance.
Wichita County Commissioners Court voted to purchase with emergency funds a new surveillance camera system for $68,000 for the jail after one of five systems failed.
Winkler County received a federal grant of $40,303 to update lighting in county buildings.
Wise County Commissioners Court approved $177,696 for local fire departments to help purchase radio equipment. The departments earlier received $800,000 in grants for the project. H – Compiled by Garner Roberts