Commissioners shift into high gear on temporary office relocation

With the cat already out of the bag, the McCulloch County Commissioners met Monday and County Judge Randy Young proudly announced that the county has received formal notice from the Texas Historical Commission that $4,696,756 of state funds have been approved to restore the McCulloch County courthouse. According to Judge Young, the county taxpayers will be responsible for paying $1,000,016. The county’s exact matching portion is not known as this time, but will be determined by the Texas Historical Commission. The amount will be made up of two sections, in-kind and donations. Out of the in-kind monies, the county has spent approximately $200,000 of which, part has gone to the new doors for the courthouse and engineering and studying plans. ‘This is part of our matching funds,’ said Young. ‘We have one-half million dollars in reserves, but we hope not to deplete our reserves completely. We are going to use in- kind work from our four county precincts of materials and labor. We will also depend upon contributions from our public, such as individual donations, businesses, our local historical society and other interested organizations. If we need to, we can issue certificates of obligation which allows us to spend the money over several tax years. The project will span over three budget cycle years to help make this work.’ With the announcement of the Texas Historical Commission Preservation Grant came the discussion of the relocation of county offices. According to Young, the courthouse offices will be given six months from Jan. 28 to relocate to other office spaces. The county offices, with the exception of the county clerk’s office, will be out of the courthouse for approximately one year. ‘We have simply outgrown our offices and we have to find a permanent place to move that will be convenient to the courthouse as well as provide the public with easy access to both the building and the courthouse,’ said County Clerk Tina Smith. ‘Our goal is to find a place that works for everybody and is convenient so we only have to make one move.’ As it now stands, the relocation committee is further studying the relocation of the clerk’s office. They are presently looking at a 2,890 square feet building located at 113 E. Main Street. The offices of the district clerk, county judge, and justice of the peace will be moved into the old appraisal district building. The county treasurer’s office will be moved into the same building as the county tax assessor’s office. That building is located across the street from the sheriff’s office. Judge Young reported that the jury trials will be meeting in Mason or Menard Counties with the defendant’s that are held in McCulloch County Jail being transferred to one of those counties for jury trial. The Brady Independent School District has agreed to let the county use their school board meeting room for county pre-trials and docket cases. The opening item on the agenda was an audience given to Kirby Groves in an issue with the county over County Road 202, which is an established county road. Groves was unable to attend and the commissioners passed on this item until he could attend. The commissioners approved the annual bond for Tax Assessor-Collector Treva Colen and on agenda item four approved the replacement of a computer and new server for the county treasurer’s office. It was reported by County Treasurer Donna Robinett, that an older computer had crashed and was not fixable. She advised the court that a new server could be purchased for $2,829.46 and would serve three users. A vote was taken and approved by the commissioners. Another item discussed and approved by the court was the appointment of the McCulloch County Historical Commission members. Those approved by the court included Ed Hernandez, Gregory Hector, Lee Ann Hall, Mary Ann Oliver, Linda Beam, Laney Weise, Martha Jones, and Jim Johnson. The last item on the agenda was the approval by the court to declare the office of county constable dormant pursuant to statute. The dormant process roughly states that if the office of county constable does not have a qualified person to fill the office within the last seven years shall be deemed dormant. The court stated that one person had been in that position a few years back, but had not fulfilled all of the requirements for that position. The next McCulloch County Commissioners Court meeting was set for Feb. 11 at 9 a.m. in the courtroom on the third floor of the courthouse.

Leave a Comment