North & East Texas
Angelina County Commissioners Court adopted a hazard mitigation plan for the county and the cities of Burke, Diboll, Hudson, Huntington, Lufkin and Zavalla. Commissioners also accepted a state grant of about $38,000 for emergency management.
Bell County Commissioners Court approved renewal of a contract with Dallas-based Securus Technologies to continue providing inmate telephone services. Commissioners also approved an agreement with the Texas Forest Service for regional and statewide deployment of the county’s 25 trained emergency responders.
Cooke County Commissioners Court transferred jurisdiction of service for the Lake Kiowa Fire District to the Indian Creek Volunteer Fire Department.
Coryell County Commissioners Court adopted a budget for fiscal year 2013 that includes a new pretrial services department to screen low-risk indigent defendants to determine if they are eligible for release on a personal bond pending trial.
Freestone County Commissioners Court voted to purchase a used fire truck for the Butler Volunteer Fire Department.
Gregg County Commissioners Court approved a contract of $3.2 million with RWC Enterprises of Dallas for remodeling of the terminal at East Texas Regional Airport. Commissioners also accepted a state grant of $5,340 to make polling places more accessible.
Harrison County Commissioners Court approved a $1 million agreement with ABM Building Services to upgrade four facilities with energy-efficient equipment. “We’ll see a great benefit in efficiency and productivity in our energy savings and in maintenance costs, and man hours will be reduced dramatically,” Judge Hugh Taylor told the Marshall Messenger.
Houston County received a gift of $5,000 from singer Kenny Rogers for its senior center after he was unable to perform at a benefit.
Johnson County Commissioners Court approved tax abatements for Klein Tool, which plans to construct a manufacturing plant and warehouse in Mansfield valued at $70 million with initial plans to hire 262 employees.
McLennan County Commissioners Court appointed a new county judge, Scott Felton, and a new county treasurer, Bill Helton, in September. Felton, a former bank president and Hallsburg school board member, replaces Jim Lewis, who retired after serving the county 40 years (judge since 1991). Helton, a former county treasurer, replaces Danny Volcik, who resigned for health reasons, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald.
Nacogdoches County Commissioners Court renewed an agreement with a federal task force on organized crime to repay the county for deputies’ overtime pay for drug investigations. Also, the county for the seventh straight year received an advanced rating for disaster response preparation from the Texas Department of Homeland Security.
Rusk County Commissioners Court awarded a contract of $290,900 to C.E. Marler and Associates of Kilgore for construction of new hangars at the Rusk County Airport.
Trinity County Commissioners Court voted to participate in an airport maintenance grant program with the Texas Department of Transportation, which will fund half of a $24,500 project at the airport.
Aransas County Commissioners Court authorized the purchase of five Dell computers for the jail staff at a total cost of $7,265, approved the refinancing of 2003 certificates of obligation issued for construction of a detention center to save $1.2 million, and approved a contract of $1.9 million with J.J. Fox Construction for storm drain improvements.
Atascosa County Commissioners Court approved a budget that includes a lower tax rate, salary increases for employees, and more money for distressed roads, according to the Lytle Leader News, because of an anticipated $5 million in sales tax collections in 2013 compared to $2.5 million in 2012. The News attributed the collections increase to oil and gas activity in the Eagle Ford Shale.
Brazoria County Commissioners Court approved tax abatements for Saber Power Services, which plans to build a $2.5 million facility of 37,000 square feet for offices and shop space in Rosharon.
Burleson County Commissioners Court approved the first phase of a $1 million project to stabilize the foundation of the courthouse, which was built in 1927.
Calhoun County Commissioners Court accepted grants of $47,202 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for EMS radio equipment, and $41,881 for salaries and supplies for preparedness for natural disasters.
Colorado County Commissioners Court selected Drymalla Construction Co. for a $5.3 million restoration of the courthouse. They also approved construction of a water well for the Rock Island water system with a state grant of $260,000.
Comal County Commissioners Court voted to spend $71,000 for studies on three county dams by Fort Worth-based Freese and Nichols engineering firm. Commissioners also approved an agreement with Christus Santa Rosa Health Care Corp. for indigent care.
Fort Bend Commissioners Court approved a federal grant of $126,336 for the organized crime drug enforcement task force for fiscal year 2013.
Harris County Commissioners Court approved a cooperative effort with the city of Houston to build a $5 million facility to install, program, and maintain radio units for police and fire vehicles and ambulances and to distribute handheld radios. Mayor Annise Parker told the Houston Chronicle, “The more closely we can communicate with everybody who’s going to be out in the field with us, the better it is for the safety of all. It’s another great example of the city and the county coming together.”
Hays County Commissioners Court issued a proclamation to establish Central Texas AMVETS Post 115 in Kyle. AMVETS is one of the foremost veterans service organizations in the United States. Commissioners also heard a report from elementary school student Zachary Collins of Kyle, who last year raised $3,000 at Thanksgiving for the food bank with a 2013 goal of $5,000.
Jim Hogg County opened its $5.2 million detention center, a 48-bed facility in Hebbronville that is about three times larger than the previous jail. Funding included a federal grant of $3.9 million and $1.3 in loans.
Matagorda County Commissioners Court approved tax abatements for a steel pipe manufacturer that is considering a mill site in the county. The Bay City Tribune said the proposed $1.5 billion project would add 600 jobs.
Medina County Commissioners Court authorized grants to Meals on Wheels, the county nutrition program, and the D’Hanis Volunteer Fire Department.
Nueces County Commissioners Court accepted a deed for 18 acres of land from the school district to use in development of a sports complex with baseball, soccer, and football fields near Tuloso-Midway.
Orange County received $10,000 from the Sabine River Authority for a new boat ramp that will involve the county and the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife.
San Patricio Commissioners Court approved $1.1 million in improvements for McCampbell-Porter Airport in Ingleside in phase one of a $3 million project and awarded a contract to Windland Agriculture, which bid $1,600 per year to graze cattle at a former landfill.
Starr County Commissioners Court honored Stephen Saenz of Rio Grande City, an Auburn University student who represented Mexico in the 2012 Olympic Games.
Travis County Commissioners Court approved the purchase for $2.4 million of a military surplus helicopter for fire observation and suppression. Commissioners also approved tax rebates for HID Global Corp. if it builds a manufacturing and distribution facility in northeast Austin expected to add 276 jobs.
Waller County Commissioners Court approved the addition of a fire marshal in the 2013 budget after the Waller-Harris Emergency Services District made a contribution of $30,000 for each of two years for the new hire.
Williamson County Commissioners Court for the second straight year allocated money from revenue generated by the county landfill to the Hutto Educational Foundation. The latest grant was $75,000 to continue a character development program.
Zavala County Commissioners Court approved a donation from Chesapeake for maintenance of the Popeye Trail in Crystal City.
Andrews County Commissioners Court approved the addition of a benefit golf tournament at the county’s golf course. The Chad Campbell Classic, named after an Andrews High School graduate who now plays on the PGA tour, was scheduled Nov. 18 to fund an improved practice facility for high school golfers. Commissioners also approved construction of a community center at B&B Park.
Briscoe County Commissioners Court appointed Garrett Davis as interim sheriff replacing Gene Smith, who resigned in September.
Carson County received a U.S. flag flown in Afghanistan from Brent Satterwhite of Panhandle. The flag and its certificate of authenticity were sent to Satterwhite by his son, U.S. Army platoon leader Kenton Satterwhite, to display in the county’s war memorial.
Dawson County Commissioners Court approved a contract of $211,380 with Minnix Construction of Lubbock for renovation of adult and juvenile probation offices and a grant of $48,000 to the senior citizens center for Meals on Wheels.
Hemphill County is replacing three bridges in a federally funded project administered by the Texas Department of Transportation. The Canadian Record said Decatur-based Earth Builders is shipping a pre-cast concrete bridge of 74,000 pounds intact to be installed over Gageby Creek, the location of the second bridge replacement.
Midland County Commissioners Court made a grant of $100,000 to Fresh Water Supply District No. 1 to develop a water plan “to effectively plan for projects to meet future water needs” for residential and industrial growth. Commissioners also approved a payment of $194,049 to the board of the tax increment reinvestment zone.
Ochiltree County received a PEARL grant (Promoting and Enhancing the Advancement of Rural Libraries) from the Priddy Charitable Trust to purchase computer databases for Perry Memorial Library.
Parker County Commissioners Court approved an agreement with North Central Texas Council of Governments to convert 1,100 VHF radios to narrowband as required by the FCC at a cost to the county of about $40,000. “We’re filling up our air space quickly,” Fire Marshal Shawn Scott told the Weatherford Democrat. “This is the FCC’s way to open up airwaves to allow more traffic.”
Potter County received a Certificate of Achievement in Financial Reporting for its fiscal year 2011 annual report from the Government Finance Officers Association.
Schleicher County received a grant of $499,527 from the Texas Department of Agriculture in the colonia construction program for installation of sewer lines in Edgefield II and Three Sisters.
Tarrant County held ribbon-cutting ceremonies for its new $78.6 million Lon Evans Corrections Center, a 444-bed maximum security facility with 207,000 square feet. It is named for a six-term (1960-84) sheriff who led the Packers to the 1936 NFL championship after starring at TCU.
Tom Green County received a grant of $5,000 from the Best Buy Children’s Foundation for the teen department of the library.
Wheeler County Commissioners Court selected Southwest General Contractors of Amarillo as construction manager for a new law enforcement center of 24,000 square feet to replace a jail built in 1926.
Wise County Commissioners Court approved a contract of $102,694 with an Oklahoma City company for installation of a tower and related equipment, including generators, for sheriff’s department radios. Commissioners also approved studies of three flood control dams by M&E Consultants of Temple. H – Compiled by Garner Roberts