North & East Texas
Angelina County Commissioners Court selected Infinity Networks as their vendor for the inmate phone system at the county jail.
Coryell County taxpayers can now swipe a QR code on their tax statements and pay their taxes with a smartphone without having to make a trip to the courthouse. Online payments are also possible.
Ellis County Commissioners Court awarded a contract to Infinity Networks for inmate telephone service. Commissioners Court also adopted an indigent health policy that the Midlothian Mirror said provides basic healthcare services for county residents who are indigent and do not qualify for other state or federal assistance.
Freestone County Commissioners Court approved a reinvestment zone in Butler for Sanderson Farm’s feed mill.
Hood County Commissioners Court approved a plan to allow early voting on school campuses during evening school events for the November ballot.
Jasper County Commissioners Court obtained $750,000 in grants for Christus Jasper Memorial Hospital for generators and electrical infrastructure for the hospital and clinics in Jasper, Sam Rayburn, and Kirbyville to operate during disasters.
Johnson County will observe the 100th anniversary of its courthouse Nov. 16. Officials will unseal a cornerstone and retrieve the contents of a time capsule.
Madison County Commissioners Court accepted an Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Grant of $10,000 for constables’ technology and equipment.
Montgomery County Commissioners Court approved the purchase of 30 Dodge Charger patrol vehicles for $664,650 and a truck for $18,600 from a Grapevine dealership and digital cameras for $172,000 for the sheriff’s office. Commissioners Court also approved a grant from the Texas Department of Transportation for the county’s “no refusal” DWI task force.
Nacogdoches County Commissioners Court approved a grant to the county’s Committee on Aging to help provide meals to homebound residents, qualifying for a grant of $40,000 from the Texas Department of Agriculture. The county also received a state grant of $6,355 for security at the attorney’s office.
Panola County Commissioners Court approved the purchase of a new video system for the detention center and sheriff’s department for $29,000. Commissioners Court also approved an agreement with South Murvaul Water Supply Corp. to provide first-time water service to about 50 customers.
Rockwall County Commissioner Lorie Grinnan, the first woman in the history of the county to be re-elected as a commissioner, told the Rockwall County Herald Banner that she will not seek re-election in 2014 for a third term.
Rusk County will conduct a health fair for county employees, including flu shots, blood pressure checks and mammograms.
San Augustine County Commissioners Court approved a state grant for maintenance and repairs at the county airport.
Smith County opened new facilities of 15,000 square feet for the Community Supervision and Corrections Department in Tyler.
Van Zandt County Commissioners Court approved grants from the Texas Communities Development Block Grant Program for Little Hope-Moore Water Supply Corp., and a contract with Hayes Engineering for water project engineering.
Walker County is constructing a new jail that is scheduled to be completed in April 2014.
Wood County Commissioners Court approved the purchase of law enforcement computer software from COPsync, which operates the nation’s largest law enforcement real-time, information-sharing data network. Commissioners Court also approved a state grant for repair at the airport.
Austin County received a state grant of $223,434 from the Texas Indigent Defense Commission “for extraordinary indigent defense expenditures,” according to the Bellville Times. Also, Judge Carolyn Bilski told the Columbus Banner Press she will retire after five terms and 20 years as judge Dec. 31, 2014.
Brazoria County Commissioners Court approved tax abatements for a Japanese partnership named Alpha Olefin Chemical Company, which is considering a $496 million plastic manufacturing plant in Freeport or a site in Louisiana.
Brooks County Commissioners Court approved a state grant for airport maintenance and an agreement with Community Action Corp. of South Texas for a grant-funded preventable hospitalization project for bacterial pneumonia and dehydration – the two leading causes of hospitalization in Brooks County.
Fayette County Commissioners Court accepted a $40,000 matching grant from the Texas Department of Transportation for the Fayette Regional Air Center for routine maintenance.
Gillespie County Commissioners Court approved a guaranteed maximum price of $12.1 million from Sedalco Construction Co. of Fort Worth for a new jail.
Gonzales County Commissioners Court awarded a contract of $64,128 to Cogniserv of Irving to create a searchable online database of the county’s property tax records dating back to 1968.
Hays County Commissioners Court approved a change for substance abuse treatment services at the juvenile detention center to Southwest Key Programs of Austin.
Jackson County Commissioners Court approved the purchase of surveillance cameras for the county services building for $5,605 from YK Communications of Ganado. Commissioners Court also voted to spend up to $18,936 with Marathon Engineering Corp. to add Gold Medal Safety Padding to a jail cell to accommodate inmates with violent behavior.
Jim Hogg County Commissioners Court voted to keep the nutrition center closed, but Commissioners Court allocated $50,000 for the delivery of meals to elderly residents.
Refugio County Commissioners Court approved tax abatements for Earl Bluhm, who is opening an indoor pistol range and boat barns in Austwell. The Refugio County Press said it is the first business in Austwell to collect sales tax.
San Patricio County Commissioners Court approved a reinvestment zone in Ingleside at the site of a future ethylene plant for Occidental Chemical, which will create 145 jobs. Commissioners Court also approved a contract of $133,800 with Secure Control Systems for a new OneTouch jail locking system.
Val Verde County Commissioners Court approved one-year funding of $128,846 for Quad Cities Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse to open and operate a domestic violence shelter. The county has been without a shelter since 2009.
Victoria County Commissioners Court approved an agreement with San Antonio-based Pace Kiosk for a touch-screen program that accepts cash or credit cards for collections on criminal and civil cases.
Williamson County Commissioners Court approved the purchase of 22 new EKG-monitoring machines for EMS at a cost of $20,000 to $22,000 each for a total of up to $484,000. Sixteen will be used in EMS ambulances.
Bandera County Commissioners Court voted to join the Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District in a countywide mapping project.
Baylor County Commissioners Court approved tax abatements for Green Pastures I and Green Pastures II, subsidiaries of Pioneer Green Energy Co.
Briscoe County Commissioners Court approved tax abatements for the Longhorn Wind Project.
Brown County Commissioners Court appointed a new tax assessor-collector. Christine Pentecost is replacing Cheryl Nelson, who died Aug. 23.
Carson County Commissioners Court approved a resolution to establish a reinvestment zone for Grandview Wind Farm.
Cochran County Commissioners Court accepted the resignations of Judge James St. Clair (effective Sept. 30) and County/District Clerk Rita Tyson (effective Oct. 14). Shanna Dewbre was appointed to fill Tyson’s unexpired term. Former Cochran County Commissioner Billy D. Carter was sworn in as the new County Judge on Oct. 1.
Comanche County Commissioners Court approved a reinvestment zone and tax abatements for Logan’s Gap Wind Farm.
Donley County Commissioners Court created a reinvestment zone of about 21,700 acres at the site of a proposed 161-megawatt wind farm by Cielo Wind Power.
Fisher County Commissioners Court approved the appointment of David Hall of Sweetwater as the first multi-county court at law judge serving Fisher, Mitchell and Nolan counties. Commissioners Court also approved the purchase of jail management software from Hill Country Software and Support for $29,280.
Floyd County Commissioners Court voted to establish voting centers across the county that allow residents to vote during elections at any polling place in the county rather than in a specific precinct.
Hardeman County Commissioners Court approved a payment of $312,103 for courthouse restoration being conducted by architect ArchiTexas and contractor Phoenix I.
Haskell County acquired a K-9 dog for the sheriff’s office for $2,000, including training.
Hemphill County Commissioners Court accepted a bid of $711,220 for courthouse remodeling from Amarillo-based Talon LPE. Commissioners Court also authorized the imaging and indexing of county land records dating back to 1887 at a cost of up to $425,000 by Dallas-based Kofile, and approved a reinvestment zone and tax abatements for Miami Wind I.
Hudspeth County Commissioners Court approved a contract with the Eddy County Detention Center in Carlsbad, N.M., to house up to 30 inmates in the Sierra Blanca jail.
Kerr County Commissioners Court renewed an annual contract of $14,000 with Hill Country Dispute Resolution Center for mediation services. The nonprofit center handled 204 cases in 2012 that would have been on court dockets with settlements in 79 percent of the cases.
Kimble County Commissioners Court approved a grant for airport routine maintenance from the Texas Department of Transportation.
Lubbock County Commissioners Court approved a request from the city of Lubbock for a 10.5-mile pipeline project to improve the city’s access to water from its well fields in Bailey County.
Martin County Judge Charles Blocker told the Martin County Messenger that he will retire when his term expires in 2014 after 16 years as judge.
Nolan County Commissioners Court authorized the purchase of a financial software upgrade for about $72,000 for the county auditor and treasurer from Grapevine-based STW Inc. to replace a system in place since 1985.
Wise County Commissioners Court approved the installation of a fire alarm system in the 117-year-old courthouse for $63,018 from Tyco, a global company with U.S. headquarters in Princeton, N.J.
Yoakum County conducted official opening ceremonies for the new Plains Lifestyle Center and a new location for the Plains Clinic. Commissioner Tim Addison told the Denver City Press, “It was a group effort, and we’d like to thank the Yoakum County Hospital Board, Mark Anna (clinic director) and Precinct 4 employees for their help and dedication to this project…We are honored to have the ability to build this for the citizens of Plains.”
In September, Young County started offering video and audio of its Commissioners Court meetings on its YouTube channel.
Compiled by Garner Roberts