North & East Texas
Bowie County received a commitment from New Jersey-based Community Education Centers to continue to manage two local jails until another management company is in place.
Dallas County Commissioners Court voted to purchase for $4.4 million a large warehouse with office space in West Dallas to house county clerk records, surplus equipment, and various county operations.
Denton County Commissioners Court selected Ratcliff Constructors for a $15 million project to expand the juvenile detention center.
Grayson County Commissioners Court approved a request from the county health department to establish the county’s first publicly-funded primary/urgent care clinic in partnership with local hospitals using indigent health program funds of $2 million.
Henderson County Commissioners Court approved the purchase for $132,000 of a Lenco ballistic engineered armored response counter attack vehicle (BearCat) – the same kind of armored vehicle the county borrowed from the Tyler Police Department to use in a four-hour police standoff in 2010.
Houston County Judge Erin Ford visited a BSA Webelos den to help scouts earn their engineering activity badge. Ford is an electrical engineering graduate of Texas A&M University.
Johnson County Commissioners Court voted to allow elected officials and employees with concealed handgun licenses to carry their weapons in the courthouse. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that members of the public may not enter the building with a gun, even with a license. Commissioners also granted tax abatements to Energy Transfer Partners, which will expand a plant in Godley.
Kaufman County Commissioners Court approved the purchase of new financial software for an initial cost of $139,016 from STW Inc. of Grapevine. Commissioners also adopted a policy to allow honorably discharged law enforcement officers to purchase the service revolver issued to them at 75 percent of market value, according to the Mabank Monitor, but they will not be allowed to purchase “long guns” (rifles).
Leon County Judge Byron Ryder was inducted as a fellow into the Texas Judicial Academy, a partnership between the Texas Tech University School of Law and the Texas Association of Counties.
McLennan County Commissioners Court voted to join the city of Waco to make a grant of $805,000 to Owens-Brockway for expansion of a glass container plant that is expected to add $74 million in improvements and 70 full-time jobs. Commissioners also abolished the budget office and transferred its duties to the auditor’s office.
Montgomery County Commissioners Court approved tax abatements for Chicago Bridge and Iron, which plans to build a building of 150,000 square feet and add at least 200 jobs with an annual payroll of $14 million.
Walker County held groundbreaking ceremonies for its new $18 million jail of 268 beds in Huntsville. Commissioners earlier approved $20 million in certificates of obligation to fund the project.
Atascosa County Commissioners Court approved the purchase of a new ambulance from Professional Ambulance for $86,081 and six defibrillators for $80,000.
Austin County Commissioner David Ottmer was named Citizen of the Year by the Bellville Lions Club. He’s a former city councilman who served as commissioner from 2006 to 2012.
Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson has been named co-chair of a statewide task force of the Texas Democratic Party to study gun violence. Commissioners also created what the San Antonio Express-News called “the nation’s first public library system” without paper books. “We’re trailblazing,” Judge Nelson Wolff said. In other business, flood-warning devices in the HALT system (high-water alert life-saving technology) have been installed at 52 suburban low water crossings.
Brazoria County Judge E.J. (Joe) King told the Clute Facts that he will retire in two years at the end of his current term. He is a former county sheriff, DPS officer, and U.S. Army veteran.
Caldwell County Commissioners Court selected Brown & Butler of Austin as construction manager for $222,000 for the remodeling of a former Walmart building in Lockhart into space for several county offices.
Comal County held rededication ceremonies for its newly restored 115-year-old courthouse. The $8.6 million project included a grant of $3.5 million from the Texas Historical Commission.
Dimmit County has an interim sheriff appointed by commissioners, former constable Marion Boyd, after the resignation of Joel Gonzales.
Fayette County Commissioners Court approved a proclamation to mark the 175th anniversary of the county. Fayette was established Jan. 18, 1838.
Fort Bend County Commissioners Court approved the purchase of defibrillators for the county EMS and six Chevrolet Tahoe and five Ford Fusion vehicles for the sheriff’s office.
Goliad County recently took delivery of a 2013 Chevy Frazer-built ambulance. The county purchased the vehicle with grants from the Johnson Foundation and GVEC and with monies from the tobacco fund. The county also completed installation of a community siren alert system near the city water tower at Chilton and North streets. It will deliver severe weather and other emergency alerts.
Guadalupe County Commissioners Court approved a San Marcos River safety ordinance and endorsed plans for a park district along the river in Caldwell County. Commissioners also approved a resolution for a flood protection study of the Guadalupe, Blanco, and San Marcos rivers in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Texas Water Development Board.
Karnes County Judge Barbara Najvar Shaw has been named a fellow in the Texas Judicial Academy, a partnership of the Texas Tech University School of Law and the Texas Association of Counties.
Kleberg County Commissioners Court appointed a five-member committee of county employees to propose testing for promotions and for entry-level deputies and correctional officers.
Lavaca County’s former judge, Ronnie Leck, was named chief of police in Shiner. According to the Victoria Advocate, he was police chief in Shiner 1983-91 and in Yoakum in 1992-02 and county judge in 2003-10. In other business the county received $10,000 from the Lillie A. Johnson Foundation to purchase a vehicle for meal delivery for senior citizens and two grants of $15,000 each from the Dickson-Allen Foundation for seniors’ meals and records retention.
Medina County Commissioners Court voted to pay each juror $6 cash for his or her first day of service rather than preparing and mailing a check.
Travis County Commissioners Court approved expansion of recycling to 39 county facilities outside the city of Austin at a cost of $66,900 a year. Commissioners also approved tax-exempt status to lower the interest rate for $16 million in bonds for an affordable senior citizens’ housing project of 152 units.
Victoria County Commissioners Court approved $1.5 million in grants to seven agencies, including fire and emergency services, mental health, senior citizens, historical preservation, and economic development.
Williamson County hired Evergreen Solutions at a cost of $97,000 to conduct a study of salaries of employees in comparable counties and independent employers.
Andrews County Commissioners Court authorized the second of three payments of $1 million each to the city of Andrews for a 13.1-mile road project. Commissioners also approved purchase of a ladder truck for the fire department through Denton-based Siddons-Martin Emergency Group for $789,000 and equipment for $83,784.
Eastland County Commissioners Court voted to install Tyco fire alarm systems in the courthouse ($109,485) and annex ($104,060) with a service fee of $2,342 for each.
El Paso County Commissioners Court voted to implement a residential construction building inspection program for unincorporated areas of the county. “We are giving residents an important tool that will help them make better decisions about whether to buy a property and to protect their investment,” Judge Veronica Escobar told the West Texas County Courier.
Erath County Commissioners Court voted to purchase for $152,718 a new Ford F-450 diesel ambulance from Professional Ambulance of Comanche.
Hall County Judge Ray Powell has been 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.
Kerr County Commissioners Court voted to spend $32,400 to include county residents in a multi-agency program of free trapping of feral hogs, coyotes, bobcats, foxes and raccoons by Texas Wildlife Services.
McCulloch County has a new treasurer, deputy treasurer Kay Andrews, upon the retirement of Donna Robinett after 18 years as treasurer.
Potter County Commissioners Court voted to provide a school security officer in Bushland with the school district paying 75 percent of the officer’s salary.
Ward County received a donation of 15 acres of land in Monahans from Quell Petroleum that the Monahans News said likely will be used for an events center.
Wilbarger County Commissioners Court approved tax abatements for Vernon Real Estate, which plans to build a 120-bed facility of 52,820 square feet to replace Vernon Care Center. Construction cost is estimated at $8 million to $10 million. H
– Compiled by Garner Roberts