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Commissioners’ Court Meeting – August 15

Courthouse elevator project to begin in September

Published Aug. 20, 2011 @ 12:46 p.m.

The first item on the agenda for the special meeting of the Garza County Commissioners’ Court on August 15 was to hear the results of the competitive bids received by the court on August 9 for the courthouse elevator project.  The engineering firm, Parkhill, Smith and Cooper received the five bids on behalf of the county and compiled a report for the county’s consideration.  The firm announced that Pharr & Co. was rated #1 of the five bids submitted. 

According to the bid, the cost of the project is $308,000 and the project is to be completed over a 145-day period beginning September 6, 2011.  The Commissioners approved the bid and voted to hire Pharr & Co. to construct the elevator.  According to a report from County Treasurer Ruth Ann Young in the August 12 commissioners meeting, the elevator fund balance is $363,927.96.  Over ten years ago the county began to set aside funds whenever possible with the goal of installing an elevator in the courthouse at some future date.  In the last four years commissioners became more aggressive in pursuing this goal and the result is that funds are available to cover the cost of this project.   

The commissioners also considered repair to the perimeter road at the Giles W. Dalby Correctional facility.  Judge Norman explained that MTC has been making repairs to the road over the years and he feels that it is time for the county to cover the cost of repairing the entire road.  Armor Asphalt and W.A. Paving submitted proposals for both (1) asphalt repair and chip seal and for (2) asphalt repair and overlay.  The court voted to approve the repair and chip seal proposal by Armor Asphalt for $25,501.50.

A revised schedule relating to the 2011/2012 budget was set.  At the regular Commissioners’ Court meeting Monday, August 22 the court will finalize the budget and propose the tax rate.  Two public hearings are scheduled:  September 2 at Trailblazers, 2:00 p.m. and September 8, also at Trailblazers, 6:00 p.m.  On September 16, the commissioners will meet at 9:00 a.m. to adopt the budget and set the tax rate. 

The commissioners returned to budget discussions beginning with a shortfall of $33,079.  Overtime usage by the dispatch office of the sheriff’s office was discussed and Dana Tanner, Chief Dispatcher, was on hand to answer questions.  She explained to the court how the dispatch department schedules are handled and was asked by the court about possible cuts in this area.

During further budget discussions and considerations, Garza County Tax Collector/Assessor Judy Bush shared information concerning tax rates for counties similar in size to Garza County and pointed out how low Garza County’s rate is in comparison.

The next Commissioners’ Court meeting is Monday, August 22 at 9:00 a.m.       

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