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Government agencies unmask May 21

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At the Wednesday, May 19, Grimes County Commissioners Court, County Judge Joe Fauth announced receipt of Governor Gregg Abbott’s Executive Order GA 36 prohibiting government entities from mandating face coverings or restricting activities to be complied with by 11:59 p.m., Friday, May 21, 2021. Violation of the order is punishable by fine up to $1,000.

Fauth said, “In layman terms, if you want to wear a facemask, it’s entirely up to you, but I am going to dictate throughout the county that if we have any required facemask signs up, we will remove those signs and notices by 11:59 this Friday night.”

He continued, “Citizens coming into the county, it’s your choice to wear a facemask or not. If you’re not wearing one, nobody can tell you to put one on. If you go to Brookshire Brothers or a coffee shop and they have a sign that says you need to wear a mask, they’re a private business. They have that authority. This applies to government entities and schools.”

It was noted the order gives jail administration and government-supported hospitals the option to require masks.

R&B restructuring

Commissioners approved a request presented by Human Resources Director Talitta Coleman to restructure the Road & Bridge Department by eliminating the General Superintendent position and create three Area Superintendents. The approved action also included continuing the stipend approved in early 2021 for the three foremen through the end of this fiscal year, with a permanent salary discussed during the upcoming budget workshops.

Salary grievance committee selected Commissioners approved

Commissioners approved the selection of a Salary Grievance Committee (SGC) in accordance with Local Government Codes 152.014 and 152.1015. This is the procedure by which an elected official may have their salary grievance heard.

According to the code, the SGC consists of the county judge, sheriff, county tax assessor, county treasurer, county clerk, district clerk, the county attorney or the criminal district attorney, and public members “necessary to have nine members.” Two members plus three alternates were drawn from the grand jury pool by commissioners and will be notified by County Clerk Vanessa Burzynski.

Commissioners Court may be viewed in its entirety at

Other court action:

•Approved Consent Agenda items which included an electric line installation permit for Blue Jay Solar and authorize the county judge as signatory, the treasurer’s list of claims and bills, payroll, and budget amendments and/or line-item transfers.

•Approved the annual contract for Reverse 911 services with Hyper-Reach and authorize the county judge as signatory.

•Approved acceptance of a Letter of Credit for $1,940,000 for Muir Woods Subdivision road security.

•Approved acceptance of a Sole Source Letter for Arcosa, Inc. as a sole producer and single source of lightweight aggregate in Texas.

•Approved applying for the Agreement for the 2021 American Rescue Plan, aka Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) and authorize county judge as signatory.

•Approved the Amendment to the Exchange Agreement with Jim Westmoreland to construct a public road to the Grimes County Justice and Business Center by Aug. 31, 2021, “plus additional days as appropriate due to weather delays or other conditions not within the control of Grimes County.”

Burn ban: The burn ban remains lifted.