Commissioners consider Hurricane Ike Round 2.2 funding change orders

by Janette Blackwell

Tyler County Judge Jacques Blanchette convened a special meeting of the Commissioners Court on Friday, May, 23.

First on the agenda was consideration of change orders pertaining to Hurricane Ike Round 2.2 grant funding. Goodwin-Lasiter has revised plans on the necessary modifications to the Colmesneil VFD building and its immediate surrounding property, according to David Waxman, who represents the County on the grant proposal.

Ken Jones of Goodwin-Lasiter described the change orders under consideration, including moving an interior wall to enlarge the conference room, as designed, and plumbing to move a sink along that wall; extending asphalt across the width of the driveway for easier entrance and exit and expanding the driveway to abut the building (saving taxpayers maintenance costs over the next twenty years, according to Precinct 3 Commissioner Mike Marshall); adding electrical plugs to accommodate vehicles inside the building and to increase shop functionality; and providing combination keypad locks on the building's exterior doors. According to Waxman, Goodwin-Lasiter will pay $16,245, and the grant will pay $16,775 of the cost for the changes. The Court unanimously approved the proposed change orders.

Waxman advised commissioners further that $231,000-plus remains in the grant fund for necessary County projects, and the General Land Office requires any remaining balance to be returned in August. Waxman recommended that commissioners consider existing projects in their precincts that need to be upgraded so change orders may be considered for approval and implemented, in order to optimize use of available funds. He also reminded the Court of the state rule requiring an environmental statement for road projects greater than 50 feet long.

District Attorney Joe Smith presented a resolution for an annual request, as in the past 12-15 years, for a Violence Against Women Special Prosecutor for the period of September 1, 2014, through August 31, 2015. Smith also presented a resolution for annual approval of the Crime Victims Coordinator position for the same time period. According to Smith, salaries for these ongoing positions are subsidized by grant funding, thus saving a significant amount in taxpayer dollars. Commissioners voted to approve both resolutions without opposition.

Precinct 1 Commissioner Martin Nash asked the Court to grant right of way on C.R. 1135 from Charles and Barbara Soileau to the County to widen the road 50 feet. This is a corrective action related to the May 12 approval of right of way on C.R. 1130. Commissioners approved granting the Soileaus right of way on C.R. 1135, and rescinded prior approval for right of way on C.R. 113