Court votes to repair A/C; software purchase made

Preparing for the upcoming summer heat and protecting the County’s computer network were two hot items on Mondays agenda of the County Commissioner’s Court. Two other items on the were tabled Monday morning and will be placed on the following regular business meeting’s agenda. Requesting additional time to review the Rural Transportation District’s request for the County to appoint a district director, the Commissioner’s Court, absent McCulloch County Judge Randy Young, voted unanimously to address the issue at a later date. A director for this district is required within the next 30 days, and the individual appointed must be an elected official (with either the City or County government). If an elected official is appointed as director, there will be no change in the way the Rural Transportation District currently operates. The requirement to appoint a director was passed under 1997 legislation, but until now wasn’t enforced on a regular basis. According to Don Scott with the transportation district, the department has been able to “grandfather” under the Council of Governments, but at this time, the appointment of such an individual is mandated. “This is one of those things that should have been done years ago and wasn’t,” Scott said. Local rural transportation, including the Thunderbird van, is intended for all public use, regardless of income. Transportation is provided on a regular basis to both San Angelo and Brownwood for dialysis or additional medical treatment. In the second item tabled in Monday’s meeting, the Commissioners voted not to appoint Marcia Aarons, Ann Walker, Robert Sephus, Jerry Bratton, Louise Passmore, Paul Willis, Orlando Rubio and Bill Mann as members to the local Historical Commission at this time. Instead, the Commissioner’s agreed it would be in the best interest to see if all previous members (before mentioned) would be interested in serving additional terms. In addition, Commissioner Joe Johnson suggested that Commissioner Bratton (who previously served on the committee) discuss his reappointment with the County Attorney to ensure that both he and the County are in compliance with any laws concerning his placement on the Historical Commission. An item approved on Monday, the Commissioners formally accepted the 2001-2002 audit. The item was presented to the Commissioners in a previous meeting and Monday’s action was to make a formal approval of Michael Schaffner’s findings in the 2001-2002 audit. Another item discussed in a previous meeting, the Commissioners agreed to purchase Panda software as recommended by Charlie Smith of Mason to screen for viruses on all courthouse computers. The software, at a cost of $46 per computer, will be downloaded from the Internet and used daily to scan and detect any apparent viruses. A re-manufactured compressor for one of the two air-conditioning units that service the courthouse was approved by the Commissioners at a cost of $4,800. The panel opted to approve the re-manufactured compressor with a one-year warranty rather than a rebuilt one that would cost $4,050. In other business, the Commissioners restructured the loan and lease options for Precinct 2 by authorizing Commissioner Bratton to seek financing through Commercial National Bank at 4.50 percent interest for the precinct’s track loader and motor grader. According to Bratton, this will help him avoid a $26,000 balloon payment due in April on the motor grader and will allow him to cushion his budget with a smaller $1,000 monthly payment on the two machines. At the request of McCulloch County Treasurer Donna Robinett, Bratton agreed to discuss with CNB the possibility of paying the note every six or 12 months to eliminate extra work on the bookkeeping end. “It is better to get the low interest rate and go with a local banking institution,” said Commissioner Johnson. A change almost 30 years past its prime, the Commissioners voted to increase the City’s cost for prisoner boarding fees from $2.50 per day to $30 per day. According to McCulloch County Sheriff Earl Howell, both Concho County and Eden are charged $35 per day to house inmates. Factoring in the cost of utilities, jailer salaries and cost of food to feed the inmates, the Sheriff estimates that the actual cost for sheltering Brady inmates is approximately $25 per day. He suggested the $30 as a rounded number, splitting the difference in the minimum amount required and the amount charged to the other participating agencies. City Councilman Matt Mills was present at Monday’s Commissioner’s Court meeting and agreed that the $2.50 fee is too small an amount for the County to rely upon. Other items approved: ‘ The Commissioners agreed to change the small county road (CR 419) located behind the Rochelle Cemetery to CR 415 which connects County Roads 418 to 423. Previously, the Commissioners unknowingly renumbered a separate county road in Precinct 4 from CR 420 to 419. To keep the numbered roads in some sort of chronological order, the Commissioners felt it would be easier to change the number of the small road behind the cemetery because no residents live on that particular road and there wouldn’t be any need for address changes. ‘ The Commissioners amended the budget for the Sheriff department’s vehicle contingency funds. This procedure was simply a movement of funds that brings the department’s vehicle contingency fund up to $23,500, $15,000 of which was carry-over from previous years. ‘ The Commissioners appointed Sheriff Howell to serve as the Fair Housing/Equal Opportunity Standards officer. The item is a requirement for applying for funding for the Rochelle water grant project.

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