The Jones County Commissioner’s Court met for the regular scheduled meeting on July 13, 2015. Minutes from their previous meeting was then approved. The court heard from District Attorney Joe Ed Boaz. Boaz spoke to the court on making a salary adjustment for the employees of the District Attorney’s office. The adjustment would be in the amount of $500 for employees Jack Thompson and Laura Davis. Money for this would not come from the county. The money would come from the District Attorney’s Asset Forfeiture Account ( Drug Account ). Boaz stated that the account has over $6,000 in it. Money in the forfeiture account comes from the hard work of the law enforcement in the county on drug related cases. The District Attorney’s office is allowed to keep 20% of all money received through judgments in these cases. At one time the DA’s office could use the money collected at its discretion; now legislation has put stipulations on the use of the funds due to misappropriation of funds in other counties. The court now has to approve how the funds are to be used by the District Attorney’s office. Boaz told the court that this was the first time he had come before the court while he had been in office. He stated that he planned to run for a 2nd full term and if elected would be back before them again. Boaz said that his employees did good work. “Your crew is what makes you!” Boaz told the court. The court approved the adjustments for Thompson and Davis that Boaz had requested. Commissioner Ross Davis abstained from the vote due to his wife being employed by the District Attorney’s office.
Judge Dale Spurgin then discussed taking action on the application to participate in the Emergency Management Performance Grant. This grant is through Buddy Pope’s office. Action on the grant had to be done within 45 days of receipt of the paperwork. The court moved to approve participation in the Emergency Management Performance Grant during 2015.
Bids submitted by Sylvia Padron and Victoria Alaniz for the purchase of Tax ID#R10418, Lot 9, Block 50, original town of Stamford in the amount of $25.00 and by Terry Tidwell for the purchase of R29133, Lot 8, Block 94, original town of Stamford for $100 were approved.
Sheriff Larry Moore then addressed the court on having received a donation of a commercial lawn mower from the Hawley Cemetery Association. The Hawley Cemetery Association purchased the mower to show their appreciation to the Jones County Sheriff’s Department for all the hard work they put in during the last 14 years of maintaining non perpetual care cemeteries in the county. Use of the commercial mower will cut down on the amount of time it takes to mow each cemetery and will reduce wear and tear on the original equipment the county used. Moore said the commercial mower was purchased from Hamilton Supply. Hamilton Supply sold the mower to the Jones County Sheriff’s Department at cost due to what it was being used for. Judge Spurgin said the county appreciated the donation of the lawn mower. He stated that though it was a donation, should the county stop caring for the non-perpetual care cemeteries, the mower was to be returned to the Hawley Cemetery Association. The court approved the donation of the lawn mower from the Hawley Cemetery Association. Amber Thompson asked Sheriff Moore to get the serial number from the mower to add to the county’s audit listing of property.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Steve Lefevre informed the court that Mitch Hall had donated materials, construction and labor to repair County Road 376. Invoices were in the amount of $8,362.11 which included materials, equipment and the contactor Hall hired for the repairs. The area to be repaired was 3/10 of a mile on CR 376. Lefevre said Hall had other sites he wanted to repair. The court approved the donation from Mitch Hall.
Estimates for cutting down a mulberry tree behind the Adult Probation Office were then discussed. The tree rubs on the building and the carport behind the Adult Probation Office. Hawks Tree Service submitted a bid in the amount of $1,600 to remove the tree and grind off the stump. Thornton’s Tree Service bid for the service was $3,250. The Adult Probation Office notified Judge Spurgin that at this time they wanted to only trim back the tree. No action was taken on this matter. More information would need to be gathered before any action would be taken.
A contract for dialysis services for county inmates, which was discussed at their last meeting, was reintroduced. The court found that the county’s insurance was adequate to provide the service to inmates but it would have to consult with the attorney for more information before action could be taken on the matter. A presentation was postponed for the health insurance renewal by Robert Mills until the end of the meeting. The presentation would be done during budget workshop.
Precinct 1 Commissioner James Clawson then spoke with the court on an equipment purchase that he planned to do. Clawson asked for permission to trade in three pieces of machinery to purchase two new pieces of equipment. The purchase would be around $140,000 but with the trade in of his excavator there would be a difference of $61,000. The trade in would be two older John Deere machines for two new John Deere machines. Clawson had money in his surplus account to make the purchase. Discounts would come with buying the new equipment. The county would have to purchase two additional pieces of equipment within the next 12 months to receive the discount. Should there be no purchases or the county fall short of buying two purchases within the next 12 months, the discount given would have to be paid back to the company. This would all be contingent on if Yellow House Machinery could extend its offer from June 10 until the time Clawson was ready to purchase the machinery. The court approved the motion to purchase the machinery. Amber Thompson asked Clawson to provide her with the serial numbers of the old equipment as well as those of the new equipment being purchased for the county inventory as well as the equipment’s worth.
Judge Spurgin informed all commissioners that due to recent rains if there was further damage in their precincts they should report it so it can be included in the county’s disaster declaration. Spurgin said that they were waiting on more information from the state before they could proceed. He stated that the extension that was sent into the state for the TXDOT Infrastructure Grant had been received but the county was waiting on a decision as to what form of action would be taken on the extension. Spurgin told the court that once the matters on the agenda had been discussed they would recess for 10 minutes and go into budget workshop.
Amber Thompson then gave the treasurer’s report. The county’s securities were $8,162,830.27 with an account balance of $7,026,124.12 leaving the county over secured in the amount of $1,136, 706.15. Overtime paid was $1,970.58. The treasurer’s report , as well as the budget and line item transfers, was approved. The court also approved paying the bills.
Judge Spurgin asked if there were any discussion matters. Precinct 3 Commissioner Ross Davis said that he wanted to get the truck and trailer that had been discussed in several meetings back. Precinct 1 Commissioner Clawson stated he felt that the dumpster that was in the handicapped parking in front of the court house should be moved. Judge Spurgin said he would talk to TXDOT to see what they could do about removing and replacing signage to accommodate for handicapped as well as visitors needing parking while visiting the court house on business. Clawson asked if the prison bus had to take up all the parking on the northside of the court house when bringing in inmates or could the bus be parked in front of the old jail. Judge Spurgin said that for security reasons the inmate bus would have to park on the northside of the court house. He stated that prior to bringing the inmates to the courthouse for hearings, hearings were held in the chapel at the prison but due to individuals not liking that hearings were held in the chapel, they now had to bring the inmates to the courthouse. He was aware of the parking being taken while the inmate bus was waiting on inmate hearings to be completed, but there was not anything that could be done on the matter.
Judge Spurgin said the meeting would then be recessed for 10 minutes and budget workshop would then begin.