Published October 2011
North & East Texas
Ellis County Commissioners Court voted to join the Tri-County Auto Theft Task Force with Johnson and Tarrant counties.
Fannin County revised its contract with Community Education Centers to include operation of the county’s former jail on CR 4200, which has been empty recently. The CEC also operates the county’s new jail on Silo Road, which is near capacity. The county also received a state grant of $200,000 to help low- and moderate-income families purchase their first homes.
Grayson County Commissioners Court approved a loan of $1 million for juvenile services to build new facilities, including a residential treatment center for intensive offenders, one of only five facilities in the state.
Gregg County Commissioners Court approved a grant of $5,900 for Meals on Wheels that serves meals in six counties in East Texas.
Henderson County Commissioners Court voted to award grants to fire departments in Trinidad, Malakoff, Baxter and Athens after the close of the Shady Oaks VFD. Commissioners also reduced the number of Justice of the Peace precincts from six to five to save about $200,000, the Malakoff News reported.
Jasper County Commissioners Court awarded a one-time grant of $10,000 for the nutrition center of the Committee on Aging and accepted a grant of $11,000 from the Southeast Texas resource conservation district for tire cleanup and disposal. With a federal grant of $98,468, commissioners voted to purchase 36 Kenwood portable radios and 39 ICOM mobile radios. Also, they accepted a bid of $189,320 from Norman Highway Construction of Orange for road projects after hurricane damage.
Johnson County received a grant of $183,250 from the Texas Department of Public Safety for a criminal incident records management system. Commissioners also approved tax abatements for Air Liquide Industrial U.S. for a $25 million project of new construction and expansion.
Kaufman County Commissioners Court approved its first tax abatements since 2003 for an expansion of J.I.T. Manufacturing in Mabank and new distribution center for Maines Paper and Food Services in Terrell.
Milam County Commissioners Court approved an agreement with Milano VFD to operate a grant-funded emergency shelter of 5,184 square feet to harbor refugees during emergency situations such as hurricanes.
Montgomery County Commissioners Court approved a budget that provides funds for 15 additional sheriff’s patrol deputies. “We’ll always be behind,” Sheriff Tommy Gage told the Montgomery Courier, “but this will help in cutting some of our response times to service calls.”
Polk County Commissioners Court approved an order transferring ownership of the company that operates the county landfill to Santek Waste Services Inc. Commissioners also approved a bid of $2.2 million for emergency generators from LUDCO electrical contractors of Nacogdoches.
Rusk County Commissioners Court approved construction of a parking carport at the airport among other improvements. Half of the cost of the 70’x25’ structure to be built in front of the terminal will be paid by a federal grant.
Smith County received approval from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards for a six-story downtown jail expansion project expected to cost $35 million.
Titus County Commissioners Court established a technology fund that will collect $4 from each case that goes through a justice of the peace court.
Upshur County Commissioners Court unanimously selected Dr. James M. (Jim) Bowling, a retired university professor, as interim county judge. Bowling, a county resident for 12 years, is a former dean of the School of Business at Jackson State University, Fortune 100 company manager, and FAA flight standards inspector.
Van Zandt County Commissioners Court approved a one-year contract with Pennsylvania-based Diamond Pharmacy for prescription medicine for jail inmates.
Walker County Commissioners Court approved an agreement with the Montgomery County forensic center for postmortem examinations, ending the county’s agreement with the Dallas medical examiner.
Wood County Commissioners Court approved improvements at the airport, including taxiway extension and additional airplane hangars, at a cost of $1.396 million. The county will pay 10 percent, and the balance will be covered by a federal grant and the cities of Mineola and Quitman.
Aransas County Commissioners Court authorized the issue of $5.5 million in certificates of obligation to start an $8 million project for flood control.
Bastrop County Commissioners Court approved an annual agreement with Motorola for $174,441 for radio system infrastructure and dispatch services repair, maintenance and response. Commissioners also imposed the county’s new hotel occupancy tax beginning Oct. 1.
Bexar County Commissioners Court voted to spend $55 million in cooperative transit projects in the next five years, including a downtown streetcar line, with the city of San Antonio and VIA Metro Transit.
Brazoria County Commissioners Court approved tax abatements for chemical company BASF, which plans a $50 million plant expansion in Freeport.
Burnet County Commissioners Court voted for the county’s charter membership in the new Central Texas Water Coalition, an organization of Highland Lakes residents and business owners.
Comal County Commissioners Court approved grants to the Community Council of South Texas and Comal County Senior Citizens Foundation for their home-delivered meals programs.
Galveston County is finishing a $33 million construction project at a former Walmart building to convert it into a county annex housing the health district and its medical and dental clinics along with the Galveston CAD, Precinct 3 office, and veteran’s affairs.
Guadalupe County Commissioners Court made a budget amendment of $97,200 on the contract for installation of Odyssey computer software for the county’s judicial system.
Jackson County Commissioners Court voted to close the medical division of the county health department. Judge Dennis Simons told the Jackson County Herald-Tribune, “It is still my feeling that what we offer through the health department is also offered by the hospital district and is a duplication of services with taxpayer dollars.”
Uvalde County Commissioners Court voted to accept a grant of $67,920 from the Texas Task Force on Indigent Defense for a mobile telecommunications unit to allow judges to communicate with legal counsel and defendants.
Victoria County Commissioners Court approved the purchase of eight HP TouchSmart computers in its $31,000 courtroom renovation project.
Williamson County Commissioners Court awarded economic incentives of $75,000 to Office Depot to bring 200 jobs to the county in an expansion of its sales division. The Austin American-Statesman said the expansion will include 200 new jobs and a capital investment of $3 million.
Callahan County Commissioners Court agreed to loan Memorial Medical Center about $500,000 to purchase equipment and $1.5 million for doctor recruitment and income guarantees.
Ector County Commissioners Court approved a budget of $1.6 million for the first year of a five-year rebuild of the county’s IT infrastructure. Commissioners also approved the lease of land at Odessa-Schlemeyer Field to a development company that plans to construct hangars and create the Odessa Hangar Owners Association.
Erath County Commissioners Court approved a grant of $18,000 for the county’s Meals on Wheels to make it eligible for other state grants.
Gaines County Commissioners Court approved a contract of $467,009 with NORESCO of Westborough, Mass., for repairs to the courthouse wastewater system in its $6.98 million renovation project.
Howard County Commissioners Court awarded an additional $75,000 for operations of the senior center and $29,333 for ambulance services.
Jones County welcomed a new commissioner, Joe Whitehorn, for Precinct 4. Whitehorn, who replaces Steve Lollar, has been a county employee for 17 years.
Kerr County accepted a grant of $200,000 from the Cailloux Foundation for the Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library. The Hill Country Community Journal reported the grant was “contingent on Kerry County retaining the city of Kerrville’s EMS rather than contracting with an independent company.”
Midland County completed inspections on its new detention center of three 72-bed facilities each with televisions, showers, restrooms, classrooms, laundry, video conferencing, and dining areas for lower-risk inmates.
Mitchell County Commissioners Court approved preliminary plans for a new 48-bed jail expected to cost $9.8 million, including architect and engineering fees, site development, and space for the district courtroom and offices.
Montague County Commissioners Court voted to construct a $2 million courthouse annex to relieve storage and crowding issues.
Parmer County Commissioners Court approved the use of a grant of $65,000 from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for computer software upgrades for data sharing with other law enforcement agencies.
Reagan County Commissioners Court approved a state grant of $204,308 for 25 portable radios for deputies, 18 mobile radios for vehicles, and 11 pairs of night vision goggles for the sheriff’s office.
Tom Green County Commissioners Court approved four-year tax abatements for Ethicon Inc. which has $28 million in capital improvements in progress.
Ward County Commissioners Court approved a $1.278 million project to replace air-conditioning systems at the courthouse and jail by Trane Commercial Systems of Lubbock.
Winkler County Commissioners Court selected several providers for juvenile placement, including 4M Granbury Youth Services, Randall County and Midland County. H – Compiled by Garner Roberts