North and East Texas
Bowie County received state grants of $154,000 for improvements to courthouse security, including interior cameras and doors, metal detectors, and an X-ray machine; $188,000 for capital murder case prosecution; and $181,500 for a drug court.
Ellis County Commissioners Court approved tax abatements for Triumph Aerostructures for a planned aircraft manufacturing facility of 240,000 square feet in Red Oak that will employ 265 people within five years.
Harrison County conducted tours of its new $7.1 million jail annex. “It’s wonderful to see it completed,” Commissioner Emma Bennett told the Longview News-Journal. “The best part is we do not have to house our prisoners out of the county anymore.”
Johnson County Commissioners Court voted to refinance general obligation bonds issued in 2004 to save about $616,000, according to the Burleson Star. Commissioners also renamed the sheriff’s administration building for former deputy Clifton Taylor.
Lamar County Commissioners Court voted to name a portion of U.S. Highway 271 for Sgt. Jay M. Hoskins, the first soldier from the county killed in the Middle East conflict since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Liberty County Commissioners Court awarded a contract of $824,762 to SWMJ Construction of Houston to rebuild homes in the county damaged by hurricanes.
Polk County Commissioners Court voted to purchase 80 burn ban signs from the Texas Department of Transportation for $5,515.
Rusk County Commissioners Court approved a three-year membership for the library in the Northeast Texas Digital Consortium, a group of 10 libraries that shares resources.
Titus County Commissioners Court approved the purchase of new radios for emergency first responders with a federal grant of $120,000.
Bexar County Commissioners Court accepted a state grant of $1 million to help fund a $4.3 million redevelopment of Mission County Park. Commissioners also renewed contracts of $5.7 million with AECOM Technical Services for management of flood control projects and $4.9 million for Aramark Correctional Services for food at adult and juvenile detention facilities.
Brooks County Commissioners Court issued $1.1 million in certificates of obligation to renovate and equip the courthouse and construct and equip a truck weigh station.
Comal County Commissioners Court renewed the county’s contract with Securus Technologies of Dallas for inmate telephone services at the county jail.
Gonzales County Commissioners Court approved the purchase for $16,835 of a 9-1-1 voice recorder with a grant of $15,000 from Golden Crescent Regional Planning Commission, a regional association of governments and agencies, and a one-year contract of $42,585 with Mtech of Austin for air-conditioning maintenance at the jail.
Harris County conducted rededication ceremonies for its restored 1910 courthouse after an extensive five-year project costing $65 million. Commissioners also approved a program pairing three sheriff’s deputies with clinicians from the mental health and mental retardation authority to respond to emergency calls involving a known or suspected mentally ill person.
Hays County Commissioners Court approved the county’s first felony drug court; the Wimberley View reported that 52 percent of the first 17 defendants now have full-time employment, and 17 percent are full-time students. The commissioners court also approved an agreement with Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority for a master drainage study with a state grant of $352,262.
Hidalgo County Commissioners Court approved the purchase for $381,950 of additional election equipment, including 110 refurbished voting machines, and the hiring of five additional employees to serve cities and schools during elections.
Kleberg County Commissioners Court authorized Texas A&M University-Kingsville intercollegiate athletics to begin a volunteer program for maintenance assistance at Dick Kleberg Park.
Medina County Commissioners Court authorized a contract with Houston-based PropertyInfo Corp. for $100,000 to index and scan records in the county clerk’s office.
San Patricio County Commissioners Court accepted a bid from CH2M HILL, a company based in Englewood, Colo., with 117 offices in the U.S., to build a bridge in Old San Patricio.
Victoria County Commissioners Court issued a grant of $4,800 to the Victoria community action committee for its Meals on Wheels program and awarded contracts to Austin Traffic Signal Construction Co. for installation of electronic signs and to Texas Solar Control for reinforced windows.
Williamson County Commissioners Court approved the creation of three new state-funded positions in juvenile services, which works with children ages 10-17 in the county’s 11 school districts.
Bandera County Commissioners Court transferred ownership of a rescue boat and trailer valued at $17,000 to the Medina Lake VFD.
Dawson County has for the second consecutive year received a Gold Leadership Circle award from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. “Congratulations on your success in moving forward on financial transparency,” Comptroller Susan Combs told county officials. Judge Allen Wells told the Lamesa Press Reporter, “We are very fortunate to have an auditor (Rick Dollahan) and staff who go above and beyond in their efforts to make this information available. They try to keep the people we serve informed.”
Erath County is expanding the jail by 23,000 square feet to house an additional 144 inmates and add office space and kitchen and laundry facilities.
Gaines County Commissioner Isaias (Charlie) Lopez resigned in September almost a year after being elected to his fifth term.
Hemphill County held rededication ceremonies for its newly restored library, which originally opened 88 years ago. Funding for the renovation included $130,000 from the Hemphill County Library Foundation.
Hudspeth County Commissioners Court voted to accept a grant from Operation Border Star, a state program designed to assist local law enforcement along the Texas-Mexico border. The grant covers the salaries of six sheriff’s deputies.
Mills County celebrated completion of the restoration of its courthouse, built in 1913. The county received a grant of $5 million from the Texas Historical Commission for the project. “It’s great to see the courthouse project complete and the building restored,” former County Judge Rob Lindsey, now Goldthwaite city manager, told the Goldthwaite Eagle.
Reeves County Commissioners Court approved a reinvestment zone for Southern Union Gas Co. for a proposed $250 million natural gas processing plant. “We need to help those who want to come into our county and bring in a business,” Judge W.J. Bang told the Pecos Enterprise.
Terry County Commissioners Court increased the county’s funding for the Brownfield Fire Department to $254,000 to allow for two additional full-time firefighters. H – Compiled by Garner Roberts