North & East Texas
Bowie County Commissioners Court approved a contract of $37,271 with the Shreveport office of SimplexGrinnell for smoke and heat detectors.
Cherokee County Commissioners Court reinstated its license and weight program after it had been suspended in 2012. Loggers and oil companies pay $25,000 bonds at the beginning of projects, and all or a portion is returned after cost of road repairs is determined. “I have seen it is going to cost us twice as much to keep the roads repaired after we have damages from loggers and oil field equipment,” Commissioner Katherine Pinotti told the Cherokee Herald.
Dallas County Commissioners Court approved a contract of $350,000 to improve mosquito trapping and insecticide spraying. The Dallas Morning News reported that 19 people in Dallas County died last year from West Nile. The county will spend at least $700,000 on mosquito abatement in 2013.
Freestone County Commissioners Court accepted a bid of $50,300 from Neyland Bridge Construction Company of Marquez to construct a bridge on CR 971.
Johnson County is planning a new sub-courthouse in Alvarado that architect Alan Magee said will cost about $1.6 million. It will include a 50-seat courtroom, tax office, technology room, and offices for the judge, county clerk and others. Commissioners court also approved tax abatements for Technical Chemical Company as it begins a $113.5 million expansion project in Cleburne.
Leon County Commissioner Dean Player, Precinct 4, retired March 24 for health reasons, according to the Jewett Messenger.
Limestone County Commissioners Court approved a contract with Texas Professional Exteriors of Waco to install insulation around the exterior walls of the juvenile detention center.
Milam County has a new commissioner, Charlie G. (Chuck) Balch of Cameron, for Precinct 1. He replaces George Tomek, who resigned to accept another business opportunity, according to the Rockdale Reporter and Messenger.
Montgomery County Judge Alan Sadler, 64, told The Courier he will not seek a seventh term in 2014.
Navarro County has received grants of $4.9 million from the Texas Historical Commission and $137,500 from the Navarro Community Foundation to help fund a courthouse restoration project. The Athens Daily Review said the 30-month project is expected to cost $9.1 million.
Newton County Judge Truman Dougharty was inducted as a fellow into the Texas Judicial Academy, a partnership of the Texas Tech University School of Law and the Texas Association of Counties.
Robertson County Commissioners Court approved a special one-time payment of $25,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of Robertson County.
San Augustine County Clerk Diana Kovar resigned for health reasons, and commissioners appointed the chief deputy clerk, Margo Noble, to complete Kovar’s unexpired term of office.
Caldwell County Commissioners Court voted to approve $475,000 in courthouse repairs by Alpha Building Corp.
Colorado County opened its new EMS building in Weimar after a six-month construction project on land donated by the city.
Frio County Commissioners Court approved the purchase of five Chevrolet Tahoe vehicles for $154,384 for the sheriff’s department and adopted a new pay scale for deputies.
Guadalupe County Commissioners Court approved projects totaling $7.3 million by the Koehler Company to complete the second floor of the justice center and conversion of the HVAC system in the adult detention center and law enforcement center in Seguin.
Hays County received a grant of $100,000 to help fund the purchase of 31.5 acres of land in Jacob’s Well Natural Area northwest of Wimberley for an outdoor classroom, playscape, trails and other facilities. Commissioners court also approved a 20-year transportation plan that includes an estimate of a doubling of the population within two decades.
Hidalgo County Commissioners Court voted to accept a federal grant of $2.4 million to construct a community safe room for La Joya ISD and residents of the county. The school district will provide the 25 percent match.
Medina County Commissioners Court approved an expense of $32,573 as the county’s match for a grant from Violence Against Women Act. The county also received a state grant of $36,000 to purchase a storage container and two light towers for the county’s health unit.
Travis County Commissioners Court voted unanimously to ban smoking and all other tobacco use on county property. Dr. Phil Huang, medical director of Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services, said other large employers, including Dell, Samsung, Seton Hospital and St. David’s Health Care, also ban tobacco.
Webb County received two grants – $500,000 from the Texas Department of Agriculture and $1.2 million from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs – for improvements to colonia houses of low-income families in Precinct 2.
Williamson County Commissioner Valerie Covey received the Road Hand Award from the Texas Department of Transportation for her efforts to make transportation improvements in the county.
Zapata County Commissioners Court presented $10,000 to the South Texas Food Bank for a Kids Café in Zapata.
Carson County Sheriff Tam Terry resigned, according to the Panhandle Herald, to manage a family business after a death in his family. Loren Brand, who was sheriff in 1992-99 and former city of Panhandle police chief and city manager, was appointed as Terry’s replacement, according to the Groom News.
Collingsworth County has a new commissioner for Precinct 1. Elmer Keller was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Dan Langford, who died Nov. 9, 2012.
Culberson County Commissioner Roland Gomez resigned, according to the Van Horn Advocate, because he no longer lives in the precinct and “for several months has missed commissioner meetings.”
Hale County Commissioners Court approved a three-year contract with Ameri-Pride Services for uniforms and other services for county precinct crews and other county employees.
Hardeman County Commissioners Court awarded a contract of $3.1 million for interior restoration of the courthouse to Phoenix I Restoration and Construction of Dallas. Primary funding is a grant from the Texas Historical Commission.
Lamb County is the latest county to change juror pay to cash rather than writing checks.
Midland County Commissioners Court approved guidelines for a $500,000 grant to install septic tanks for about 75 families in colonia areas.
Moore County Commissioners Court approved the purchase of two iPad tablet computers each for justices of the peace in Precincts 1 and 2.
Nolan County Commissioners Court authorized a second bond for county projects. The 2013 general obligation bond was approved for $5.73 million. The Sweetwater Reporter said the county saved $55,000 to $60,000 with lower interest rates by issuing two bonds instead of one larger bond.
Parmer County Commissioners Court approved a reinvestment zone in the northeast corner of the county.
Pecos County Commissioners Court appointed Elizabeth Chapman as county clerk to fill the unexpired term of Trish King, who died in December. Chapman was chief deputy court coordinator.
Reagan County received a grant of about $2.5 million from the Texas Department of Transportation to convert the airport’s east-west runway from a dirt strip of 3,600 feet to an asphalt runway of 4,000 feet. “Reagan County has seen a big increase in air traffic,” Judge Larry Isom told the Big Lake Wildcat. “A lot of these companies locating out here are using our facilities, and we need to continue improving them.”
Terry County Commissioners Court approved a $1.1 million project by West Texas Paving for renovations at the Terry County Airport. A grant from the Texas Department of Transportation will fund 90 percent of the cost.
Winkler County Commissioners Court approved a contract with AeroCare to provide air-ambulance service to county residents.
Yoakum County opened its new Plains Clinic at the Yoakum County Fitness Center. H
– Compiled by Garner Roberts