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Front Page July 10, 2018  RSS feed

Commissioners table proposal to allow Red Cross to manage county emergency shelters

By Mac Shadix

The first item after public comments on the County Court’s agenda at their regular called meeting on July 9 in Leon County Annex 1 read: “Discuss and possibly take action on allowing Red Cross to set up and manage potential shelters and execute a memorandum of understanding, (MOU) between Red Cross and Leon County. Red Cross representatives said that they would contact and enlist area churches, training them to be efficient volunteers in the case of a local or regional emergency requiring significant numbers of people to be sheltered in Leon County.

After a bit of debate with County Judge Byron Ryder stating that Leon County would still like to get grants for the construction of an eight to twelve thousand square foot shelter, and questions from commissioners if this agreement would help or hinder such efforts no motion to approve the action was forthcoming. All agreed that further information would be provided and the item put forward at another time.

Donna Danford was appointed to serve on the Community Advisory Board for the Center for Community Health Development. The court also approved applying for a $10,500 grant for electronic pickup that would require no match from the county.

Once again, no action was taken to fence the Normangee and Oakwood radio towers, although Commission David Ferguson made a motion that the auditors office seek quotes on the construction so the court would know what amounts they were talking about. Engineers estimates on the fencing were $18,000 at each location. The county is required to fence the projects according to the grants involved.

The court was in the process of approving the abandonment of nearly 2600 feet of County Road 446 in Precinct 4 when Commissioner Joey Sullivan asked it public hearings were not needed for such action. County Attorney Caleb Henson was summoned, and asked about the item. He replied that he did not think that hearings were needed because the land was simply being returned to the owner. Upon further questioning he excused himself to go and check the statutes. The court proceeded to other items, which included deciding that a burn ban was not needed at this time. Henson returned to the court and told them that one land owner owned both sides of the road in that stretch and had requested the action and that public hearings would not be needed.

A slight disagreement arose about the payment of $2,000 to each of ten county fire departments. Only eight had returned the reports required by the county and only those eight were awarded the money. Judge Ryder stated that he though that consideration should be given to dividing up the fund between those fire departments that had furnished the required reports on time. Commissioner Dean Stanford took exception to the idea, making a statement in support of the fire departments that could not find time to file the required reports. Payment was approved to the eight departments that had filed, with the funds being withheld from the others until the reports were made. The two fire departments failing to report were not identified at this time.

Speaking of opposition to High Speed Rail, Judge Ryder stated, “It is looking better all the time.” He urged attendance at the July 27th meeting with TCEQ at six P.M. in the old courthouse.

The sale of a motor grader to the highest bidder, R Construction, for $190,000 was approved.

Precinct 4 trading in a 2014 motor grader and purchasing a new one from the buy board was approved.

Approval was given to renew current term contracts that were eligible for renewal and to go out for bids on these contracts that were not renewable. The item, # 19C on the agenda was originally misstated and a supplemental notice correcting it had been issued.

During the commissioners open forum Commissioner David Ferguson requested approval for fencing in the livestock holding area that the sheriff uses to safely contain the livestock. Ferguson also requested approval for a waterline at the Expo to improve the service to the rodeo arena. Both items were approved.

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