North & East Texas
Bell County Commissioners Court approved an agreement with home security company Ring for the sheriff’s department to access video from residents who have installed the company’s cameras at their homes. “This allows us to go into a portal and ask to look at video from some of these neighbors…It’s turned into an effective law enforcement tool,” Deputy Chuck Cox told the Killeen Daily Herald.
Bowie County received a grant of $350,000 from the Northeast Texas Regional Mobility Authority for a feasibility study to connect Interstate 369 to I-30 and major U.S. highways.
Brazos County Commissioners Court approved a contract with Dallas architectural firm TreanorHL for design and construction management for a new kitchen at the detention center.
Coryell County Commissioners Court approved grants totaling $66,269 to nine fire departments in the county after the recent Harmon Road fire.
Denton County Commissioners Court awarded a contract to Arizona-based Sundt Construction to build Phase III of a new administrative complex – a $41 million office building of 89,225 square feet for several departments, Precinct 1 offices, and the Commissioners Court courtroom.
Grayson County Commissioners Court approved an agreement that will permit county dispatchers to work with Whitewright ISD’s newly formed, two-person police department.
Gregg County received a donation of equipment from the Christus Good Shepherd Health System that will substantially boost the storage capacity of the county’s information technology system and add multiple storage locations.
Harrison County converted the patrol division of the sheriff’s office from 9- to 12-hour shifts, according to the Longview News Journal. “I think (it) is a real benefit for public safety for Harrison County,” Sheriff Tom McCool said. The county received a grant of $150,000 from the Northeast Texas Regional Mobility Authority for a highway relief route through Marshall.
Jefferson County completed the first phase of its Hurricane Harvey restoration project in drainage district No. 6 with funding and technical assistance from the emergency watershed protection program of the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Kaufman County Commissioners Court approved seven school resource officers from the sheriff’s office for the 14 campuses of Forney ISD. Commissioners Court also increased funding for Senior Connect to eliminate a wait list for Meals on Wheels.
Lamar County Commissioners Court approved an agreement with NCIC Inmate Communications of Longview for a telephone system at the county jail.
Leon County Commissioners Court was host to several members of the 4-H club who reported on their experiences in the local program. In other news, Commissioners Court approved a grant to the Brazos Valley Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse.
Liberty County Commissioners Court approved a new security plan for the courthouse that will consolidate public entrances into one near the tax office that will be manned with security personnel and equipped with metal detectors and X-ray machines. The Liberty Vindicator said other doors will be emergency exits.
Milam County has an interim sheriff. Chief deputy Chris White was appointed by Commissioners Court after the death of Sheriff David Greene. The Temple Daily Telegram said Greene died July 20 while on vacation in Portland, Ore. In other business, Commissioners Court approved a total of $24,000 in donations to fire departments in the county and to the child protective services board from the district attorney forfeiture funds. Finally, tax abatements were awarded to Bitmain Technologies for its new $500 million data center in Rockdale.
Montgomery County Commissioners Court approved the addition of a deputy for the Precinct 1 constable’s office to serve as a school resource officer for Willis ISD.
Panola County Commissioners Court approved a tax reinvestment zone at the site of a proposed $125 million gas processing plant in Antioch by Enterprise Products Partners.
Smith County Commissioners Court approved tax abatements for Dragline Service Specialties, a division of Wyoming Machinery Co., for a $14.9 million project near Tyler that creates 88 new jobs. Commissioners Court also approved the purchase of fleet management software FleetWave from Fitchburg, Mass.-based Chevin and created a disaster relief fund to be administered by the East Texas Communities Foundation.
Upshur County renewed its agreement with Keefe Commissary Network as provider for the jail commissary.
Van Zandt County received a planning grant of $600,000 from the Texas State Historical Commission for restoration of the courthouse.
Austin County Commissioners Court approved $9.5 million in certificates of obligation for renovation of the sheriff’s office and jail.
Bastrop County Commissioners Court approved $9.3 million in certificates of obligation to finance construction of a community center of 12,500 square feet and emergency shelter near Mayfest Park.
Bexar County enlisted 245 employees in the eight-week Walk Across Texas Health and Wellness Program. The participants walked more than 44,000 miles, including 2,730 miles by leading team Lady Bexars and 731 by leading individual Shannon Washington.
Brazoria County Commissioners Court approved $8.725 million in certificates of obligation to fund capital projects, including construction of a new satellite county office, rebuild of the animal control facility, renovations of the county museum, and a new parking lot.
Caldwell County Commissioners Court approved $6 million in certificates of obligation for capital improvements, including the sheriff’s office, voting equipment, and other projects. Commissioners Court approved purchase of ExpressVote, including hardware, software, pollbooks, and maintenance, from Election Systems & Software.
Galveston County Commissioners Court approved 24 additional sheriff’s deputies to serve as school resource officers at three school districts in the county – 15 additional deputies at Clear Creek ISD, eight at Texas City ISD, and one at Dickinson ISD. In addition, the Moody Foundation donated 200 ballistic helmets and 200 tourniquet kits for county deputies and constables.
Guadalupe County was declared a Purple Heart County. The Seguin Gazette Enterprise said Guadalupe is the 15th county in Texas (along with 38 cities) for this designation. “The contributions of men and women from Guadalupe County have been vital to maintaining the way of life for our citizens,” Commissioner Greg Seidenberger said. In other business, tax abatements were approved for an expansion by local manufacturer Minigrip.
Hays County Commissioners Court selected CP&Y Inc. to conduct an environmental study for expansion of State Highway 21. Commissioners Court also approved the purchase of an election management system with local and state funds from Tenex Software Solutions. In other news, Commissioners Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe and Lon Shell are members of the new Community Partnership Committee for collaboration with the city of San Marcos and San Marcos ISD.
Medina County selected Houston-based Valdarrama Energy Services to conduct a survey of county buildings to determine possible budget savings on energy. Commissioners Court also selected Community Solutions to provide an intrusion detection system and fire and smoke detectors.
Nueces County Commissioner Carolyn Vaughn is chairing a committee working to restore the historic Ritz Theatre in downtown Corpus Christi.
Travis County opened its sobering center in partnership with the city of Austin. The center gives law enforcement and emergency medical staff an alternative destination for intoxicated individuals other than jail or a hospital. The county is providing a building and $1.7 million in annual funds.
Uvalde County officials expect the county’s new flood early-warning system to begin operating this fall. Sensors and monitors are being placed along the Frio, Nueces, and Sabinal rivers. The $554,000 project was partially funded by a grant from the Texas Water Development Board.
Victoria County Commissioners Court approved a contract with architecture and engineering firm PGAL to renovate a former downtown fire station, built in 1916, into a public safety building for the sheriff’s office.
Williamson County Commissioners Court approved a parks master plan that includes a proposed regional trail system. The parks department oversees 27 miles of hiking, biking, and running trails, and another 12 miles will be added in 2019.
Andrews County Commissioners Court authorized $18 million in certificates of obligation to finance a new jail and sheriff’s office.
Archer County was approved for countywide vote centers for the Nov. 6 general election. The Archer County News said Archer is one of four counties in Texas with less than 100,000 people to receive approval.
Childress County Commissioners Court approved tax abatements for Misae Solar Park II by Excel Advantage, a project of 515 MW that the Red River Sun said will be the largest of its kind in the world. Construction on the first park was scheduled to start in September.
Crockett County Commissioners Court approved a reinvestment zone for High Lonesome Wind Power and the installation of a security system at the wellness center.
Gaines County Commissioners Court renewed the county’s contract for CodeRED emergency telecommunications service from Ormond Beach, Fla.-based OnSolve.
Garza County Commissioners Court approved an agreement with Flatland Abstract Co. to digitize and index property and land records prior to 2007.
Hockley County Commissioners Court approved an additional $200,000 for Covenant Hospital Levelland.
Lampasas County Commissioners Court approved the purchase of justice of the peace software iCon from NET Data of Sulphur Springs.
Midland County Commissioners Court approved the purchase and installation of additional software from TechShare for $900,000 for case management and electronic filing. In other news, Commissioners Court approved $11.8 million to organizations with written agreements from better-than-expected sales tax collections, including $5 million to Midland ISD, $2.5 million each to Midland College and Midland Memorial Hospital, $700,000 to the Midland Humane Coalition, and $100,000 to Chris Davidson Opportunity Park.
Moore County Commissioners Court authorized several maintenance projects at the airport partially funded with $50,000 from the Routine Airport Maintenance Program (RAMP) of the Texas Department of Transportation.
Parker County leads the state in new water wells drilled, according to the Weatherford Democrat. Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District general manager Doug Shaw said the district processed about 600 new well applications in 2017 compared to less than 50 for most counties. “There is a tremendous amount of water down there,” Shaw told the Democrat. “Does that mean it’s going to run empty any time soon? No. But it is something to be concerned about.”
Wichita County officials told the Times Record News they are finalizing a list of polling places to replace 16 schools previously used for casting votes. Wichita Falls ISD told Commissioners Court that schools were not available after the May 2018 elections for security reasons.
Wilbarger County Commissioners Court approved the use of FEMA’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System for emergency notifications and warnings.
Young County Commissioners Court approved an agreement with the city of Olney to place a sheriff’s deputy in Olney while the city has only one full-time police officer. Commissioners Court also transferred the county’s agricultural activity center with 1.35 acres to the city of Graham for possible use by parks and recreation. **