By Teresa Barbian
The Jones County Commissioner’s Court met for their regularly scheduled meeting on February 22, 2016. The minutes from the last meeting were approved. The court then discussed the Jones County Investment Policy. This is the same policy the county has had for several years, it just needed to be renewed. The court approved the renewal. The Treasurer’s report was next on the agenda. The bank balance is 9,082,329.02. Outstanding checks were 106,830.06. The ledger balance was 6,975,498.96. This was approved.
Next on the agenda was a bid for $33 submitted by Catherine Coleman for the purchase of (R28931) Lot 5, Block 5, original town of Stamford. The court costs were waived and the court approved the bid. Next, the court approved a bid of $150 that was submitted by Michelle C Jones for the purchase of (R12103) Lots 1-12 and 14, Block 16, Bunkley Addition, City of Stamford. The court costs were waived.
The next agenda item was discuss and take action to review and bid on cameras for the jail. Sheriff Larry Moore explained that they found out the walls between the men and women’s dorm were hollow when the inmates knocked holes between these walls. The jail received a bid of around $30,000 to make these walls solid. The Sheriff then proposed that cameras be installed in the dorms. “The cameras would give better control over the jail and they would know exactly what the inmates were doing. It would also keep them from beating up on each other and doing other things they are not supposed to be doing.” Three companies out of Abilene presented their bid proposals to the court, OSI Security, Texas Bell Security, and AAC Security. There is funding left over from the original construction of the jail to pay for the cameras. No action was taken yet as the court requested references from these companies. Once the court has received the references, they will decide who will win the bid.
Next, discuss and take action on the Sheriff’s Office Racial Profiling Report. The Sheriff’s office had 26 traffic stops for 2015. The Sheriff explained that they don’t concentrate on traffic stops since DPS and city police departments usually take care of traffic stops. The Sheriff’s Office gets more money for the department by serving papers. Last year they served approximately 1800 papers @ $125 each. This item was approved. The next agenda item was to discuss and take action on the Constable’s Office Racial Profiling Report. Scott Hansen, Jones County Constable, was not at the meeting, but it was reported that there were no traffic stops made in 2015. This item was approved. Next on the agenda, discuss and take action on the Texas Indigent Defense Grant. The county received an award from this grant in the amount of $18,856 to help cover costs of court appointed attorneys. No action was taken. Next item was to discuss and take action on equipment and/or portable building purchase. Precinct Commissioner 2 explained that the Abilene School District has some of their portable buildings up for bid. He wanted approval to bid on one of the buildings at a minimum bid of $3000. The commissioner will find out the cost to move the building before a bid is made. This item was approved.
Next on the agenda, discuss and take action on road material and hauling bids and/or approval. There was an operator replacement on a previously submitted bid so the court will re-advertise for bids again. Opening bids will begin March 14, 2016. This item was approved.
The court then addressed Disaster Declarations and all items related regarding FEMA, TDA, and TDEM requirements. Another weather event in December resulted in the county meeting the threshold to declare another disaster. Precinct 1 received most of the damage and would like the court to pursue a second disaster grant. A motion was made and the court approved.
Next the court discussed the TXDOT County Transportation Infrastructure Grant. A new form has to be completed in order to certify that the roadwork had been completed. Once the county receives money from TXDOT, these forms will be completed and certified. No action was taken. Next, discuss and take action on inmate housing agreement with US Marshall services. A tele-conference call with the Washington D.C. Marshall’s Office will take place to discuss the final negotiations. No action was taken; more information should be available at the next commissioner’s court meeting.
The next agenda item was to discuss and take action on road and bridge employee overtime and vacation pay. With the disaster declaration and all the work that is ongoing with road and bridge departments, Precinct 5 Commissioner wants approval to be authorized to pay an employee who is maxed out and has to take his vacation or he will lose it. The commissioner wants to pay him for his vacation time so he won’t have to take off. There is an enormous amount of workload and if he were to take off, it would put the projects on hold. This is a policy situation and Judge Spurgin needs to talk with the County Treasurer to make sure it does not violate any Labor Board laws before making a decision. This item was approved. Next, discuss and take action on burn ban. The court approved to wait to see if the county received any rainfall since it was forecast that rainfall was a possibility. Rainfall was received within 24 hours so no burn ban was placed.
The next agenda item was to discuss and take action to approve a contract with HOWCO for grant administrative services for the Disaster Grant from the Texas Department of Agriculture. This company will service all form requirements for the county to receive the 25% matching funds to complete disaster declaration projects. This item was approved. Next, amend budget and approve line item transfers. There were no amendments or line item transfers. The court approved to pay the bills and the meeting was adjourned.