The project must be done before the planned major historical renovation of the courthouse—a project not scheduled for at least two years, dependent on a grant process.
In other business at Monday’s 27-minute meeting, the commissioners took several actions involving the forthcoming Nov. 6 general election.
They established County Clerk Brandy Lee’s annex office on the east end of the second floor of the courthouses as the Central Counting Station. They also named Mrs. Lee as station manager; Deputy County Clerk Greg Dodson as tabulation supervisor; and Linda Ambrose as presiding judge.
Commissioners further approved opening the courthouse from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays (Monday-Friday) during the early voting period of Oct. 22 to Nov. 2. Other than mailed ballots, all early voting in the county will be held at the courthouse on the downtown square.
After Monday’s meeting, Mrs. Lee said she urges early voters to bring their current voter identification cards, which are yellow. While registered voters need not present the card in order to cast a ballot, Lee said “large volumes” of early voters are expected, and having cards will make the process “so much faster.”
Commissioners on Monday approved Marie Lester as election judge for the Glenwood voting box, succeeding Denice McDonald.
The court also discussed delivering and pickup of large election-related equipment. Mrs. Lee said some election judges were physically unable, or had vehicles too small, to move the items.
She said she would like for some commissioners to volunteer to help (no current commissioners are on the ballot in the election, as the two incumbents whose terms are up this year, Lloyd Crabtree and James Crittenden, have already lost their bids for renomination by the Republican Party).
Pct. 4 Comm. Mike Spencer drew laughter when he jokingly nominated Pct. 2 Comm. Cole Hefner to volunteer. Spencer then said he also volunteered, and told Mrs. Lee to call if she needed help.
In other business, the court also took no action on a proposal to begin the 2-year waiting period for Emma Oaks Road to receive county maintenance, and for the court to accept a cash performance bond on the road.
“It’s not a good road. . .I would not like to see this even considered,” County Engineer Eric Fisher told the court. He said it did not meet certain specifications.
The court also approved a $2,100 grant to the Tyler-based “Meals on Wheels” program to continue serving elderly county residents. The funds were in the already-approved 2012-2013 county budget.
Longtime program volunteer Betty Orms had urged the court to continue funding, saying Meals on Wheels is a “much-needed program.”
Commissioners also took no action on a request by Pct. 4 Constable Phillip Hill (who was not present) to appoint an unpaid deputy constable for his precinct.
Spencer said he had received phone calls from precinct residents who protested they “didn’t see why he needed a deputy when they never see him working.”
Spencer said he wanted to talk to Hill before the court acts on the request. Hill won the May 29 Republican primary over two opponents without a runoff, and is unopposed for reelection in November. He was first elected in 2008.