County Judge Dean Fowler said the court must either seek bids on the 2-year contract, which expires June 1, or renegotiate with Austin. Mrs. Harris recommended renegotiation, but said the court must seek bids if Austin Bank refuses new negotiations.
Pct. 3 Comm. Frank Berka suggested the court renegotiate and save what it could. Mrs. Harris said the court should renegotiate with Austin because “the economy is bad” and “it was very costly last time” the court changed banks.
She reminded commissioners that she had recommended staying with First National Bank of Gilmer as depository in 2011 “and I’m sorry some of you didn’t take this recommendation. . . It cost us a chunk of money last time to move” the depository to Austin Bank.
Mrs. Harris also said other counties’ treasurers are renegotiating rates with their current depositories.
Pct. 2 Comm. Cole Hefner, who supported the change to Austin Bank in 2011, said that if another bank wants to bid, “allow them to.” He also said the contract the county had had with First National did not meet certain specifications . (After the meeting, he said the Commissioners Court had voted to allow an exception to the specifications.)
In other business, the court approved the $165,592 3-year term buyout (lease/purchase) of a Caterpillar backhoe and Caterpillar roller for the Road and Bridge Department.
The court also granted the Sheriff’s Office $300 to purchase a fax machine after Fowler said the office had obtained a price from only one firm—$789 (plus $250 for a maintenance agreement) from Complete Business Systems.
Fowler said that firm doesn’t have the county’s maintenance contract and that the county could do something different besides buy the machine from Complete Business Systems.
Pct. 4 Comm. Mike Spencer and Fowler said they had located a fax machine that would cost $199.
“I think they (the Sheriff’s Office) just called CBS and got one bid, and didn’t look at it too closely,” Fowler said.
Also Thursday, the court:
• Approved interlocal agreements with the cities of Gilmer and Gladewater, Ore City ISD and Gladewater ISD.
• Approved a resolution seeking a grant for Pct. 1 Constable Gene Dolle to obtain a new patrol car. He said it would save the county money in several ways, and allow his current vehicle to be a “spare” in case another constable’s vehicle breaks down.
• Named Pct. 1 Comm. Paula Gentry to the East Texas Council of Governments Executive Committee to replace former Pct. 3 Comm. Lloyd Crabtree, who left his elective office at year’s end.
• Reappointed commissioners’ secretary Ruth Whiteside to the county Sick Pool Board.
• Accepted a bid of $9,274—the full struck-off amount—for .73 acre at 1241 U.S. 271, property which was involved in a tax suit.
• Approved letting District Clerk Carolyn Parrott spend $506 for storage boxes.
• Approved disposing of old mattresses from the county jail.