The court approved the change to its Warranty, Support and License Agreement with Hart Intercivic of Austin, and will save the funds by making the agreement for three years rather than one. The agreement’s cost is $14,791 annually, and involves the county’s election equipment, Fowler said.
In other business, the court approved removing a dead oak tree from the south courthouse lawn after Fowler expressed concern it is a safety hazard.
Commissioners authorized building maintenance supervisor Chuck Mears to solicit bids from tree removal services, accept the lowest qualified offer, and have the tree removed. He also will cordon off the area for Saturday’s “Yam Jam” celebration on the lawn.
Fowler said limbs have fallen from the tree and that he was “worried to death” another such occurrence “could reallly hurt somebody” during October’s Yamboree festival.
Waiting till the court’s next scheduled meeting Sept. 30 to vote on the matter might prevent removing the tree before the festival, he said.
Added Mears, “We need to take it out as fast as we can. . . It’s a very dangerous situation.” The court decided to also cordon off the tree during the Yam Jam after County Auditor Brandy Lee raised that possibility.
Earlier in the meeting, the court approved the Gilmer Area Chamber of Commerce’s request to use the lawn for the Saturday event.
The court also discussed, but took no action, on making nominations for the Upshur County Appraisal District’s Board of Directors. Action on that is due by Oct. 15, and Fowler said anyone interested in serving on the board should contact commissioners. The court can nominate all the individuals it wants, and has enough votes for the board to elect two of its five members, “so y’all be thinking about that,” the judge told commissioners.
The court also discussed, without voting on, Sheriff’s and Constables’ fees for 2014. Fowler said he would bring the matter up at the court’s next scheduled meeting Sept. 30, since it didn’t have to act on the matter until then.
He said he thought commissioners would find the constables believe their fees should increase.
Said Pct. 4 Comm. Mike Spencer, “We’re about the lowest one (county) in the state” on such fees.
The court also took no action on accepting portions of Grace Lane and Faith Lane into the county road inventory and onto its waiting list for county maintenance.
Fowler said portions of the roads are already on the waiting list, and that the lanes’ developer would attend the court’s next meeting.
In other business Monday, the court:
• Approved spending up to $2,500 from the Records Maintenance Fund for a shredder for the District Attorney’s Office. Officials had obtained three bids, the lower two of which were around that figure.
• Approved work at the Yamboree grounds’ livestock pavilions, as is annually performed under an interlocal agreement with the City of Gilmer.
• Appointed Spencer to the Board of Directors of Tri-County Community Action, an organization which helps the indigent pay utility bills and provides other help.
• Approved a resolution supporting Kaufman County’s request to join the Northeast Texas Regional Mobility Authority. Fowler said all members of the authority, which includes Upshur County, must approve the request for it to be granted.