North & East Texas
Anderson County Commissioners Court approved tax abatements for Sanderson Farms, which plans to operate a processing facility in Palestine that employs 900 people. Commissioners also approved an agreement with the city to extend roads and utilities to the facility.
Bell County Commissioners Court voted to extend a contract with the Managing to Excellence Corp. for mental health defense. Judge Jon Burrows told the Killeen Daily Herald that the program moves prisoners through pretrial stages more quickly, helps control jail population, and saves money.
Cooke County has 87 residences with new storm shelters or safe rooms thanks to a FEMA grant program that pays each resident half the cost up to $3,000 for an approved shelter.
Dallas County Commissioners Court approved a contract of up to $1.65 million with Dynamic Aviation Group for aerial spraying to combat West Nile Virus as needed in the coming months. Thirty-seven people died from West Nile infection last year in the four-county area. Commissioners also approved $41 million in tax notes to pay for energy improvements in county facilities and $1 million for a South Dallas housing project to build 50 cottages for the homeless.
Denton County received a grant of $35,000 from the Susan G. Komen Foundation to provide mammograms to women who qualify. “It’s for any Denton County woman if she is financially eligible and in the group that a mammogram is recommended for,” Bing Burton, health department director, told the Denton Record Chronicle.
Gregg County Commissioners Court approved assistance for Sabine ISD (expansion of parking lot for a high school softball field) and White Oak ISD (remove 9,000 square feet of asphalt at an elementary school).
Harrison County Commissioners Court approved an application from Bayou Aviation to become a fixed base operation at Harrison County Airport.
Johnson County Commissioners Court approved funds for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the courthouse in November.
Leon County Commissioners Court approved “active shooter” training for staff, elected and appointed officials, and supervisors as recommended by Sheriff Kevin Ellis.
Liberty County Commissioners Court approved a donation of $5,000 from a private citizen to purchase Taser CEWs (conducted electrical weapons) for the sheriff’s office.
McLennan County Commissioners Court voted to contract with LaSalle Corrections to operate the 816-bed Jack Harwell Detention Center, one of 11 facilities that LaSalle operates in Texas and Louisiana. Commissioners believe under LaSalle the center “can better generate revenue by attracting federal prisoners,” according to the Waco Tribune.
Montgomery County Commissioners Court approved the sale of the 1,287-bed Joe Corley Detention Center to the Florida-based GEO Group for $65 million. The center currently houses about 900 inmates of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. A portion of the proceeds will be used to fund expansion of the county jail.
Trinity County Commissioners Court earmarked $570,000 of a $3.8 million federal grant for a new water tower near Trinity High School, one of the area’s designated emergency shelters. Most of the grant will be used for road repairs and upgrades.
Atascosa County celebrated the 100th anniversary of its courthouse, which was accepted from the contractor May 13, 1913, as the third location of the county seat.
Calhoun County Commissioners Court approved a two-year contract of $5,000 with Emergency Communications Network of Florida for an emergency notification system.
Colorado County Commissioners Court honored Francis Truchard for his 50 years of service as justice of the peace. Judge Ty Prause said Truchard “has faithfully and diligently served the citizens of Colorado County as justice of the peace for the past 50 years since April 8, 1963, with effectiveness and devotion, with honor to himself and to his office.”
Comal County received a state grant of $200,000 for its indigent legal defense program and approved the online auction of 77 surplus weapons from the sheriff’s office.
DeWitt County Judge Daryl Fowler told the Yorktown News-View that taxable value in the county has increased from
$2 billion in 2012 to $3.5-to-$3.7 billion in 2013 primarily because of oil and gas exploration and production.
Fayette County Commissioners Court scheduled a party for Sept. 21 at the courthouse in LaGrange to celebrate the county’s 175th anniversary.
Fort Bend County Commissioners Court allocated $311,000 in water system improvements for the city of Arcola. Commissioners also approved on-board security cameras and mobile computers for transit buses in the county.
Gillespie County Commissioners Court authorized the issuance of up to $15 million in general obligation bonds for construction of a 96-bed jail. The project architect is Wiginton Hooker Jeffrey, and the construction manager is Vanir Construction.
Hays County Commissioners Court approved $1.8 million in an agreement with the city of Dripping Springs to fund the final construction of Dripping Springs Ranch Park.
Hidalgo County will conduct its annual public health emergency preparedness exercise, Operation Lone Star, July 29-Aug. 2. Residents receive free medical services, and state and local officials train to handle public emergencies.
Jim Wells County Commissioners Court selected South Texas AirMed as the county’s ambulance service for at least three years.
Lee County Commissioners Court approved a resolution of support for the management plan of the Lost Pines Groundwater Conservation District. According to the Giddings Times and News, commissioners “support protecting the aquifer so that groundwater will be available to serve current and future residents.”
Live Oak County Commissioners Court awarded a contract of $320,457 to Harold Brown and Sons for water line improvements for El Oso Water Supply Corp.
Matagorda County Commissioners Court approved a law enforcement agreement between the sheriff’s office and the police departments of the cities of Bay City and Palacios. Each will contribute $10,000 for a task force fund.
Medina County Commissioners Court approved the installation of a mass notification system for county residents to use in emergencies.
San Patricio Commissioner Jim Price received the 2013 Outstanding Conservation Rancher Award from the San Patricio Soil and Water Conservation District “for practices that best protect the natural environment.”
Travis County Commissioners Court approved a plan to build a $38.5 million office building in Austin for the district attorney and other court-related departments. Plans call for a seven-story building with 130,000 square feet.
Uvalde County held Water Day to promote conservation and rainwater harvesting. The Uvalde Leader News reported that “low-flow toilets and shower heads are being distributed at no cost to homes with a city water line.”
Victoria County Commissioners Court approved a software proposal from Tyler Technologies for electronic management of the judicial court docket, making the district clerk’s office paperless. “It will be less paperwork and less scanning,” District Clerk Cathy Stuart told the Victoria Advocate. “It will free us up to help the public.”
Andrews County Commissioners Court approved a 10-year agreement with the city of Andrews that requires the county to maintain alleys and streets in the city and a construction debris pit at the city landfill, and provide septic tank inspections.
Brown County Commissioners Court created a child safety fund to benefit child advocacy agencies. Residents will pay an additional $1.50 to register vehicles for the fund.
Carson County Commissioners Court approved a contract with Allied Compliance Services, Inc., for drug and alcohol testing.
Dawson County Commissioners Court approved $2,500 for Victim Services of Big Spring, an advocacy program for victims of crime, including sexual assault.
Dickens County received an emergency grant of $69,000 for courthouse restoration.
Eastland County Precinct 3 Commissioner T.J. Cummings resigned in May after accepting employment and moving away from the county.
Jack County Commissioners Court approved a one-year contract with the Perrin Whitt CISD for a resource officer from the sheriff’s office with 50 percent of the salary and benefits paid by the school district.
Montague County conducted an open house for its new courthouse annex of 24,000 square feet with offices for Judge Tommie Sappington, attorney, clerk, tax assessor, treasurer and commissioners court. Commissioners also approved $300,000 in repairs for the courthouse, which this fall will mark its 100th birthday.
Moore County Commissioners Court allocated $35,453 for half of a landscape project by Amarillo Lawn and Sprinkler Co. at the county airport, including sod grass and a sprinkler system. A state grant will provide up to $50,000.
Parker County Commissioners Court approved a contract of $969,617 with SunGard for a computer-aided dispatch, mobile data computer, and law enforcement/fire records management system.
Presidio County Commissioners Court approved plans to revitalize the county’s two public airports, making them more attractive for emergency services and economic development.
Terry County Commissioners Court approved a contract with ImageTech for scanning records in the district clerk’s office.
Winkler County Commissioners Court approved the purchase and installation of COPsync, a real-time, information-sharing network, for sheriff’s office patrol cars for $81,809. Sheriff George Keely told the Winkler County News that COPsync “will make deputies safer and more productive and allow them to respond to emergencies much faster.”
– Compiled by Garner Roberts