North & East Texas
Bell County Commissioners Court voted for the county to provide animal shelter services for Troy and Morgan’s Point Resort. The county’s animal shelter opened earlier this year.
Bowie County Commissioners Court appointed Donna Burns to serve as treasurer until the November election. A former county treasurer, she replaces Brice Feasel, who resigned for health reasons after 18 months of his four-year term, according to the Texarkana Gazette.
Coryell County Commissioners Court approved a bid of $210,100 from Sydaptic Inc. of Waco to provide a new control system for the jail in addition to security cameras, a new intercom and a digital video recording system.
Henderson County Commissioners Court renewed the county’s agreement with the Andrews Center for mental health assessments for an annual fee of $34,500.
Johnson County has a new commissioner, Kenny Howell of Burleson. He was elected in the May 31 Republican primary for Precinct 2 and replaces Troy Thompson, who resigned in July after being appointed a year earlier. (Howell has no Democratic opponent in the general election this fall.) “I appreciate the opportunity to serve and, as I agreed upon when we took this position, I would serve until the election and then resign,” Thompson told the Keene Star.
Kaufman County Commissioners Court approved $13.74 million in refinanced bonds to save more than $1.627 million in 10 years.
Liberty County Commissioners Court selected SeTEX Construction of Beaumont to build for $1.974 million an emergency shelter and community center in Liberty. Commissioners also approved a change in its Meals on Wheels grants to the city of Liberty after the closing of Liberty County Senior Center.
Limestone County Commissioners Court approved a policy change to allow people with concealed handgun licenses to carry the weapons in county parks.
McLennan County Commissioners Court voted to renew the county’s contract to house inmates at Jack Harwell Detention Center, a privately operated facility, instead of the jail in downtown Waco, which remains closed during a $1.1 million renovation project.
Walker County Commissioners Court approved the purchase of air cards – wireless modems used to connect laptop computers to the Internet through cellular networks – for use by the county’s mobile command center during emergencies.
Colorado County Commissioners Court approved annual maintenance and operations costs for an upgraded radio system with Harris County and the cities of Weimar, Columbus and Eagle Lake. Grant funds will be used to purchase new radios.
Comal County Commissioners Court accepted a bid of $135,000 from Premier Courts of San Antonio to construct tennis courts at Jumbo Evans Sports Park.
Fort Bend County Commissioners Court approved a reinvestment zone to “contribute to the retention or expansion of primary employment, increase business opportunities in Fort Bend County and contribute to economic development.” The county also received a grant of $21,789 from the organized crime drug enforcement task force, and commissioners approved the donation of 100 oak trees for Seabourne Creek Park.
Hidalgo County received $2.1 million of the $16 million awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to Texas in fiscal year 2012 in Operation Stonegarden, according to the Mission Progress Times. Operation Stonegarden provides grants to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies “to enhance their capabilities to jointly secure U.S. borders and territories.” Hidalgo has received $8 million in the program since 2008.
Lavaca County Commissioners Court approved $9,097 to help cover fuel costs for the meals transportation program of the senior citizens center.
Live Oak County was awarded a grant of $750,000 from the Texas Capital Fund, administered by the Texas Department of Agriculture, to extend sewer lines from George West. The project will receive a matching grant from the parent company of Stripes, which is planning a new store in the area.
Medina County Commissioners Court approved an agreement with Hill Country MHDD to provide mental health services for inmates in the county jail.
San Patricio County Commissioners Court approved HOME grants for repair or installation of on-site sewage facilities for nine properties near the cities of Sinton, Taft and Mathis. The federal program is designed to create affordable housing for low-income households.
Travis County Commissioners Court approved a more generous tax break for homeowners at least 65 years of age and for those with disabilities. Commissioners raised the annual tax exemption by $5,000 to $70,000. “Travis County means business when it comes to providing tax relief to these populations,” Commissioner Ron Davis told the Austin American Statesman.
Uvalde County Commissioners Court allocated $65,000 to construct water and electrical connections for 25 RV stations at the county arena.
Victoria County received a grant of $31,934 for safety equipment for law enforcement officers from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Williamson County Commissioners Court approved a plan to allocate $1.1 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for community development and affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families.
Borden County Commissioners Court adopted guidelines and criteria for granting tax abatements and reinvestment zones, then approved a reinvestment zone for the Stephens Ranch wind energy project and tax abatements for two companies.
Eastland County Commissioners Court approved a request from the Center for Life Resources, formerly Central Texas MHMR Center, for $3,800. The center serves individuals in a seven-county area.
Erath County is creating a gymnasium for deputies, jailers and other sheriff’s staff members to use in off-duty time. Funding includes $10,000 from the district attorney’s office and donations. “It’s important for our deputies, investigators and jail staff to stay in top physical condition,” Sheriff Tommy Bryant told the Stephenville Empire Tribune.
Gray County Commissioners Court accepted a bid of $633,000 from Tri-State General Contracting Group of Amarillo to construct a new terminal building at Perry Lefors Airport. Two grants of $300,000 each from the Pampa Economic Development Corp. and the Texas Department of Transportation will fund a majority of the project.
Hardeman County will relocate some offices to the former Quanah City Hall during the upcoming two-year interior restoration of the courthouse.
Kerr County Commissioners Court appointed Tracy Soldan as county treasurer. According to the Hill Country Community Journal, she won a primary election in May and has no Democratic opponent in November. Beth Williams was interim treasurer.
Llano County Commissioners Court approved the purchase of a building in Buchanan Dam from the Lower Colorado River Authority for $401,000 and another $100,000 for remodeling to relocate several county offices.
Midland County soon will have its first group of inmates certified as food handlers after successful completion of a course from Midland College. Judge Mike Bradshaw told the Midland Reporter-Telegram that the program “is meant to help provide avenues that help people to succeed once they’ve been released.” The county also offers GED certification to inmates.
Montague County Commissioners Court accepted a bid of $7,550 from Dell for 10 new computers for the sheriff’s office and approved $500,000 for repairs to the courthouse, now nearly 100 years old.
Parmer County Commissioners Court approved tax abatements for Cargill for a $50 million feed mill near Bovina. After opening in August 2013, it will have 28 full-time employees with an annual payroll of $1.7 million.
Randall County Commissioners Court approved a contract with Motorola for an advanced dispatch system for its public safety communications network. It will add GPS and inter-agency connectivity to computers in patrol vehicles of the sheriff’s office. The Canyon News said annual payments are about $390,000.
Reagan County Commissioners Court awarded a contract of $1.061 million to Blacktoppers Technology to pave 39 miles of county roads.
Reeves County received a state grant of $57,500 to upgrade electrical lighting fixtures in several county buildings by Environmental Lighting Service of Grand Prairie. The upgrades reduce energy consumption 40 percent.
Terry County is upgrading the security camera system in its jail for about $18,000 with income from its commissary, according to the Brownfield News. “We are using money that we have accumulated through the jail’s commissary,” Sheriff Larry Gilbreath said. “The money builds up, and we felt like this was a good way to use it.”
Ward County Commissioners Court approved five-year tax abatements for the construction of buildings by Village Farms.
Wise County Commissioners Court approved spending more than $500,000 to purchase 13 vehicles and a stock trailer for several county offices, including the sheriff, with funds previously designated for a new barn for Precinct 4. H – Compiled by Garner Roberts