North & East Texas
Ellis County Commissioners Court voted to enter an agreement with Tarrant County to create a regional health partnership serviced by John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. Ellis was previously aligned with Dallas County
Franklin County Commissioners Court agreed to add CodeRed, a high-speed emergency alert warning system, from Emergency Communications Network at an annual cost of $8,604. Commissioners also selected MMI Construction of Weatherford to manage interior courthouse restoration.
Gregg County Commissioners Court approved distribution of a total of $20,000 to six local social service groups, including Alpine Compassion Clinic, Caring and Sharing, Helping Hands of Kilgore, and Longview Community Ministries.
Kaufman County Commissioners Court approved tax abatements for Longhorn Fabrication, which plans to construct an $8 million plant on Airport Road and create about 65 jobs.
Milam County Commissioners Court approved a property tax phase-in program offering tax abatements to businesses that plan to build new or expand existing facilities.
Montgomery County Commissioners Court approved tax abatements for Applied Machinery Corp., a Houston-based oil and gas services company with plans for a new $5.3 million facility.
Polk County Commissioners Court approved a plan to convert a former high school gymnasium into a state-of-the-art disaster emergency shelter.
San Augustine County Commissioners Court approved several grants, including some $4 million to improve county roads, $250,000 to install sewer systems for low- and moderate-income families, $37,650 for the San Augustine, Broaddus and Powell VFDs, and $99,420 for digital radio equipment for county law enforcement.
Smith County held a groundbreaking ceremony for a $33 million expansion of the jail in downtown Tyler. The project will add 384 beds in a state-of-the-art, six-story building to be completed in 2014.
Titus County Commissioners Court approved tax abatements for a $2.3 million expansion in Mount Pleasant by Priefert Manufacturing, which plans to construct two new buildings, expand another, and add 36 jobs within three years.
Trinity County Commissioners Court received visits this spring from high school seniors from Groveton, Apple Springs and Centerville in a program to teach county government to students.
Caldwell County Commissioners Court approved the purchase for $162,875 of accounting hardware and software for the auditor’s computer system.
Colorado County Commissioners Court accepted a gift deed from the city of Weimar of 1.07 acres of land on which to construct an EMS building later this year.
Comal County Commissioners Court hired Wiginton Hooker Jeffry Architects of Plano for $197,400 to conduct a study of needs for office space for the next 20 years by county departments. Also, commissioners approved the renewal this summer of a first-aid station on River Road for tubers. “It saved a few lives the first year,” Commissioner Donna Eccleston told the New Braunfels Herald Zeitung.
Fort Bend County Commissioners Court authorized restoration of the historic courthouse in a $4.2 million project that includes a $2 million grant from the George Foundation. Commissioners also approved a grant of $250 for a field trip for second graders from Smith Elementary School to Houston Museum of Natural Sciences.
Gillespie County Commissioners Court approved a contract of about $1 million with Wiginton Hooker and Jeffrey Architects of Plano to design a 96-bed jail, detention center, training facilities and administrative offices in Fredericksburg. Commissioners also authorized installation by Hill Country Telephone Cooperative of fiber optic cable along county roads to improve Internet service for residents in remote areas.
Guadalupe County Commissioners Court appointed Charles J. Willmann, a former commissioner, as interim county judge.
Jim Hogg County Commissioners Court approved a contract with Graphitiks Advertising Design of Laredo and San Antonio to develop, maintain and update county information on the Internet. Commissioners also issued a $5,000 grant for a monument at Veterans Memorial Plaza.
Karnes County has launched “Keeping Karnes Safe,” an effort to improve traffic safety. Judge Barbara Shaw called attention to increased traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities because of oil and gas operations in the Eagle Ford Shale and added, “We are coming to you for help to slow down oilfield traffic, help realize new dangers on our roads, and work together to take our county back.”
Kendall County Commissioners Court approved spending $83,000 for radio equipment to be mounted on an existing LCRA tower. The cities of Fair Oaks Ranch and Boerne also will contribute $83,000 each for this project on a third tower that will extend coverage for emergency communications to 98 percent.
Kleberg County Commissioners Court passed a resolution of opposition to a wind farm of 80 turbines by Texas Wind Group LP. “Too many small landowners are going to be hurt by this thing,” Commissioner David Rosse told the Kingsville Record.
Travis County Commissioners Court approved tax rebates for Apple Inc., which plans to more than double its workforce in Austin. The city of Austin and State of Texas have also approved incentives for Apple, which plans to create 3,635 jobs by the year 2025. Also, commissioners adopted rules for creating permanent conservation easements on private property and approved a long-range plan to revitalize 30,000 acres along the Colorado River.
Waller County Commissioners Court approved a reinvestment zone and tax abatements for WCF, a developer that plans to add two hangers and a terminal at the Houston Executive Airport.
Wilson County Commissioners Court voted to purchase for $1,0785,000 about five acres of land where a courthouse annex is located. It was previously the campus of Floresville Primary School.
Andrews County Commissioners Court authorized the development of a 20-year master plan for the airport at a cost of $84,000 by engineers with West Texas Consultants.
Carson County Commissioners Court voted to fund AED and CPR training for county employees at a cost of $30 each.
Comanche County Commissioners Court approved the addition of Delta Alert emergency notification system for severe weather, chemical spills and fire warnings with costs for two years to be shared by the cities of Comanche, DeLeon and Gustine.
Culberson County Commissioners Court accepted a grant that will fund a new brush truck for the Van Horn VFD.
Ector County Commissioners Court approved the hiring of an environmental lawyer, according to the Odessa American, to handle civil cases filed against people suspected of illegal dumping.
El Paso County Commissioners Court approved a new vision statement: “Building on our legacy, illuminating innovation and succeeding beyond borders.” They also published a notice of intent to issue $110 million in certificates of obligation for several projects, including a $44 million jail expansion and $27 million to complete the Tornillo port of entry.
Gray County Commissioners Court approved $4.5 million in renovations at Perry Lefors Airport with 90 percent paid by a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation.
Hale County Commissioners Court approved $10,000 in electrical upgrades at Ollie Liner Center, including the livestock barn; $67,269 to upgrade emergency communication equipment; and $10,000 for the Abernathy VFD.
Hardeman County Commissioners Court voted to accept a state grant of $3.1 million for interior restoration of the 104-year-old courthouse. The project will include county funds of $800,000.
Llano County Commissioners Court voted to join Burnet County in a $75,000 economic impact study to determine the impact of drought in Upper Highland Lakes. “Now we will have a voice in the water management plan,” Judge Wayne Brascom told the Llano County Journal.
Nolan County Commissioners Court approved plans by Wiginton Hooker Jeffry Architects for new offices for the sheriff and a 96-bed jail of 34,625 square feet.
Pecos County Commissioners Court approved construction of an emergency services building to be designed by Burns Architects and built by Lott Brothers Construction. The project will also include purchase of a generator. The county also received a state grant of $370,000 in a border security program.
Taylor County Commissioners Court renewed three liability insurance policies with Scottsdale Indemnity Company for $123,068 for the sheriff, judges, commissioners, other employees and employment practices.
Throckmorton County Commissioners Court approved renovations for the courthouse, originally built in 1890, with a grant of $2.4 million from the Texas Historical Commission and $400,000 from the county. The Abilene Reporter-News said First National Bank of Throckmorton will fund half the county’s obligation.
Wilbarger County Commissioners Court voted to purchase computer software for the justice of the peace and other financial collections software from NET Data of Sulphur Springs.
Compiled by Garner Roberts