What many in Grimes County say has been a long time coming, was finally realized Friday, Dec. 31. The long-awaited, long anticipated ribbon cutting for the Grimes County Justice and Business Center was held at a Special Meeting of Grimes County Commissioners Court, exactly two years and 159 rain delay days from the facility’s groundbreaking in 2019.
Attending what County Judge Joe Fauth described as “the next chapter in Grimes County’s history,” were citizens, employees, elected officials and members of the court system who now with adequate courtrooms, look forward to providing speedy trials, a fundamental right of the American judicial system.
Ready to come to life
The ceremony began with an invocation by Pastor Charles Tompkins and the raising of the United States and Texas flags for the first time over the new facility. Grimes County Veteran’s Service Officer Jay Lafferty was assisted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4006, American Legion McCloskey Post 640, the Grimes County Sheriff’s Office and Constable Precinct 2.
In his opening remarks, Fauth cited the obstacles overcome such as Covid and a freeze, and challenges that still remain such as a supply chain backlog.
Fauth said, “Although we’re not 100% complete on the finished project, but being 99% there, we will start our monthlong move-in next Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022. This facility is ready to come to life taking care of the citizens’ business for many, many years to come.”
Through the efforts of many
Fauth emphasized what has been said numerous times during Commissioners Court over the last two years, “This is your Justice and Business Center. It is paid for with your tax dollars. There were no bonds sold that need to be paid. There were no loans made. There was no tax increase. This facility is paid for free and clear.”
Fauth thanked his predecessors Judge Betty Shiflett and Judge (now State Representative) Ben Leman for their role in arriving at this historic occasion.
He said, “First, Judge Betty Shiflett who served the County from 2007-2014 started the discussion and planning for this much needed facility. Second, Judge Leman served the County from 2015-2017. He continued the planning and hired PGAL as the County’s architectural firm to design our new facility. Thank you both for your vision to improve Grimes County.”
Fauth also thanked Commissioners Chad Mallett, David Dobyanski, Barbara Walker and Phillip Cox, PGAL architect Michael Lloyd, general contractor Collier Construction, and Enterprise Systems which handled the networking and communications.
Fauth added, “And finally, a huge thank you to Mr. Al Peeler, Grimes County’s resident Maintenance Engineer and Justice and Business Center Project Manager. Many, many thanks to you, Al Peeler.” After the ribbon cutting,
After the ribbon cutting, the Special Meeting was adjourned and the Justice and Business Center was open to the public until 1 p.m., at which time the contractor resumed “completing a few final touches to the facility.”