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Court advised Sunday voting day added

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    Examiner photo by Connie Clements Commissioner David Dobyanski recognizes Nancy Franek for five years of service to Grimes County. Franek is the secretary at the Grimes Health Resource Center.

The Grimes County Commissioners Court held a Regular Meeting Wednesday, Feb. 5, and among the agenda items discussed was the addition of Sunday, Feb. 23, as an early voting day in Grimes County.

Election Administrator Lucy Ybarra clarified two items for the court, the first being that court approval was not required for the early voting petition. County Judge Joe Fauth added that he had asked Ybarra to present the additional early voting day information in court as a matter of public awareness.

Ybarra also advised that the petition is identified as a Democrat Party Petition because the Democrat Party gathered the signatures for the petition, made the request and submitted the petition.

Assuring the court that Republicans were not excluded from voting that day, Ybarra said, “I did speak to Republican Party chair Susan Patrick. She is well aware of it and was aware before we started. I met with both chairs prior to them starting the petition. Everybody was involved, well-informed and on board with it.”

Ybarra assured the court that revised election notices would be generated that day. The polling location Feb. 23 will be the Navasota Center from 1 – 4:30 p.m.

46 rental cabins coming to GC

Commissioners approved a Special Road Use and Indemnity Agreement for J7 Services on Dogwood Trail and Deer Run.

Road and Bridge Engineer Harry Walker said, “This is a project to develop rental cabins on a parcel of property they have at the end of Deer Run. They would be taking access off CR 362 by way of Dogwood Trail to the end of Deer Run to access their property.”

Walker clarified that a subdivision plat is not required because they are rental cabins and not for sale and the property is not being subdivided. The only permits required are septic and road use.

According to Howard Gross with J7, there will be 46 rental cabins with 2 acres per cabin.

Gross said, “They’re kind of like a tiny house. No more than 378 SF cabins and they’re 16 x 8, sometimes they’re 20 x 8. There is a 2-person configuration, a 4-person configuration and an ADA accessible configuration. The largest is 20 feet wide.”

Gross said the cabins will be built off-site and J7 will bring in aggregate for the roads and “heavy equipment to make sure the roads are installed properly.”

HR director Pope

to retire

Commissioners approved a motion to determine a process to hire a new Human Resources Director due to the retirement of director, Lucy Pope May 29, 2020. Fauth pointed out that this gives the court four months to advertise, interview and hire.

He said, “Knowing the importance of having a good, strong human resource person taking care of human resources, I didn’t think that would be an easy fill. My desire for putting this on the agenda now is I want to make sure that we have someone who learns what our human resources department currently does when it comes to benefits for the employees, salaries for the employees, job descriptions for the employees , training for the employees, and on and on. I want to make sure we start this process sooner rather than last minute.”

He advised that Treasurer Janice Trant had offered to absorb the position into her department, but Commissioners Barbara Walker, David Dobyanski and Phillip Cox agreed that there was enough work to support a separate office and to explore the outside market.

Ideally, Pope’s replacement will be hired in time to allow at least one month of overlap for training purposes. Auditor Mary Nichols said that the additional salary for that period would come from Fund Balance. The position will be posted internally for three days before external posting and Fauth said he has already been approached by one interested employee.

Burn ban:

No action taken, burn ban remains lifted.

Other court action:

•Approved consent agenda items that included the Treasurer’s list of claims and bills, payroll and the Grimes County Fourth Quarter Investment Report for period ending 12-31-19.

•Recognized Nancy Franek for 5-years of service to the county, see related photos.

•Approved registration of all county employees for the state mandated Cybersecurity Training to be completed by June 2020.

•Approved request from Greg Cannon, IT Department, to place an Apple Computer and a copier up for auction.

•Approved a Special Road Use and Indemnity Agreement for Expert Analysis (Magellan) for installation of a pump station on CR 311.

•Approved acceptance of a Road Maintenance Security Bond for Anderson Ridge Subdivision.

•Approved authorizing Road and Bridge to enter into agreements with Maxx HDD, LLC and Grimes-CountyNET regarding internet service for the new maintenance barn, pending review by county attorney and authorized the county judge as signatory.

•Approval of salary adjustments for Road and Bridge personnel.

•Approved Gessner Engineering’s proposal for material testing in the amount of $45,000 pending review by the county attorney.

•Approved cancellation of Feb. 12 commissioners court meeting due to V.G. Young Conference. Next meeting will be Feb. 26.

•Received Strategic Plan update from Commissioner Phillip Cox who stated he met with AgriLife about feral hog program.