Court votes no on replacing fire plugs
by PHILLIP WILLIAMS
Sep 23, 2012 | 1365 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print


Upshur County Commissioners Court on Sept. 14 rejected 3-2 a motion to replace three of the Glenwood Water Supply Corporation’s fire plugs, which were supposedly damaged by the county Road and Bridge Department.

Pct. 1 Comm. James Crittenden said the plugs were damaged before County Engineer Eric Fisher took office and they need replacing at $1,800 each. If a house caught fire, the situation could present a problem with the homeowner’s insurance, Crittenden said.

He said the water corporation has replaced plugs several times when the county damaged them. Crittenden also said a county employee admitted hitting one of the plugs, which isn’t a hydrant, but can access water.

Madaline Barber said four plugs had been damaged and “I had to put sprinklers on top of my house.” She pled for the court’s help with the situation.

Spencer and Pct. 3 Comm. Lloyd Crabtree said the corporation should replace the plugs and seek restitution from the county. They opposed Crittenden’s motion to replace them, while Hefner supported it, and Fowler cast the tie-breaking vote to reject the motion. However, the judge said he would talk to an official of the corporation about the matter.

The court also rejected Fisher’s request to buy and install an automatic gate for the Road and Bridge Dept. quarters on U.S. 271. Some court members appeared to approve the idea, but opposed implementing it now due to the county’s financial problems.

In other action, the court voted 3-2 to approve budget amendments except for two—one each proposed for the county library and District Attorney Billy Byrd’s office. Fowler broke the tie, joining Hefner and Crabtree in supporting the motion.

Before that, Fowler also cast the tie-breaking vote when the court rejected 3-2 a motion that would have approved the amendment for Byrd’s office, but not the one for the library. Fowler joined Hefner and Crabtree in that vote, too.

The court also voted 3-1, with Crittenden dissenting, to approve recording the Memorandum of Lease for the county’s “school land” in Baylor and Throckmorton Counties. The memorandum was filed in those two West Texas counties.

Crittenden objected some months ago to the lease to a West Texas cattle company. Spencer, Hefner and Crabtree voted to record the memorandum.

After brief public hearings on the matter, the court also Friday approved the record archives plans presented by County Clerk Brandy Lee and District Clerk Carolyn Parrott for their respective offices.

The court also heard, but took no action on Jimmy Caughron’s request to help clean up the private rural Morgan Cemetery after he said that as far as he knew, nobody was making money off that graveyard.

Commissioners also on Sept. 14:

• Approved $1,505 as its portion of purchasing right-of-way for the Texas Dept. of Transportation’s (TxDOT’s) planned widening of Texas 154 near the Robert F. Hunt Elementary School in Diana.

• Approved a lease with Pitney Bowes for the Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office to correct mailing addresses.

• Transferred a pickup from the building maintenance department to the Road and Bridge Dept., and a pickup from Road and Bridge to the Sheriff’s Office.

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