by Janette Blackwell
The Tyler County Commissioners Court convened Wednesday, May 7, in a special-called meeting to consider bids to renovate the Tyler County Complex (the old Brookshire Brothers building on North Charlton Street). Commissioner Jack Walston stated the north end of the complex will house commissioners' offices and the adult probation department, while the Dollar Store will remain in its present location. Kenneth Jones of Goodwin-Lasiter, Inc., presented two bids to complete the project, both of which the Court rejected. At the same time, the Court approved Goodwin-Lasiter to issue additional invitations to bid.
The commissioners also granted approval to seek bids for cracked fuel oil, road material, aggregate and rock.
In the Monday, May 12, regular meeting, County Judge Jacques Blanchette issued Proclamations declaring:
• May as Elder Abuse Prevention Awareness month
• May 12-17, 2014, as Hospital Week in Tyler County in observance of the American Hospital Association's National Hospital Week
• May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
County Auditor Jackie Skinner reported the ongoing appeal to the Hurricane Ike FEMA audit is continuing. According to Skinner, only one of some eight to ten southeast Texas counties have resolved their Ike appeals with FEMA. The questions at issue pertain to auditors' disallowing payment of items that previous FEMA documentation cited as allowable. The County stands to save some $50,000 by these appeal efforts.
The County was approached by Cantex, the corporate owner of Woodville Health & Rehab, about selling property between Woodville Health & Rehab and West Bluff, between Beech Street and the edge of the building. The Court is willing to pursue the required process of taking bids, but no action was taken, as Assistant District Attorney Dan Hunt recommended the proposal's wording reflect that consideration is not for outright sale of the property, but an approval to take bids. The Court approved Hunt's recommendation. In its Friday, May 16, meeting, the Court revisited the proposal, and voted to approve taking bids to offer the property for sale.
Representing Texas A&M AgriLife Extension service, Tyler County Extension Agent Jennifer Page presented the Building a Better Texas Award to County Judge Jacques Blanchette and the Commissioners Court. The award honors a century of partnership and expresses thanks for County cooperation and support of AgriLife Extension Service's educational programs for the public. (See May 8 Tyler County Booster for more information.)
In other business, the Court appointed Robert Swearingen, M.D. to continue as Tyler County Health Officer. Commissioners also considered and voted to accept an easement and right of way agreement from East Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc., to Precinct #2 for a 17-foot easement by the mill, as well as granting right of way on C.R. 1130 to Charles and Barbara Soileau to widen the road 50 feet. The monthly consent agenda was also unanimously approved.
In its Friday, May 16, meeting the Court approved Annex A and Annex E to adhere to Basic Emergency Management Plan. The additional eight annexes' specific five-year emergency preparedness plans are in the recommended revision process.
The Court approved going out for bids to sell a 2007 CAT 120H motor grader for Precinct #3, in order to procure equipment more appropriate to the need.
Commissioners approved an annual update / reapplication of Tyler County's participation in the Texas 1033 Surplus Property Program, which awards available DPS surplus property to counties at no charge.
The Court voted to approve lease of a new copier for the District Attorney's office.
Also in the May 16 meeting the Court considered an agenda item to include District Judge Jerome Owens for the life insurance benefit as a County retiree, but no immediate action was taken.
In a special-called meeting on Monday, May 19, the Court approved payment of County bills as submitted by County Auditor Jackie Skinner and unanimously approved the annual agreement with Sam Houston Electric Cooperative, Inc., to use the facilities at Tyler County Fairgrounds as a staging site for contract workers hired to work during a disaster.