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Justice Center named, county prepares for budget time

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Grimes County Commissioners Court held a Regular Meeting Wednesday, May 13. All commissioners were present and observing social distancing policies. Among the items addressed was naming the justice center currently under construction and selecting a Salary Grievance Committee.

Justice center named

After a discussion that centered more on word order and spelling, commissioners unanimously approved the name Grimes County Justice and Business Center for the court and administrative building under construction.

Though ultimately voting with his fellow commissioners, Commissioner David Dobyanski was the lone supporter for naming the building the Jesse Grimes Justice and Business Center “to incorporate the history of Grimes County and the history of Texas in the building.”

Commissioner Barbara Walker pointed to the county’s “branding” efforts, the new website and email address changes, and said the public would not know to Google Jesse Grimes.

Walker said, “We started this branding effort of making everything the same. All of our other buildings, like Commissioner Cox said once before, are Grimes County, which is still Jesse Grimes. I think it should be Grimes County because we worked so hard to change everything across the board, in terms of branding.”

Salary grievance committee selected

Commissioners approved the selection of elected officials and citizens from the January and July 2019 grand jury pool to serve on the Salary Grievance Committee (SGC), in accordance with the Local Government Code 152.014 and 152.015.

County Judge Joe Fauth said, “During the budget time, if an elected official has a grievance in regard to their salary, the government codes have a process that we go through. Part of that process is that we need to select at least 3 members from the grand jury list.”

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.”

All public members must be residents of the county, and while the county judge is the chairman, he does not have a vote. Eight names were drawn to allow a sufficient number of alternates in the event of noshows. One available option was a committee of nine public members.

Madisonville joins BVWACS

Commissioners approved two separate agenda items adding Madison County to the Brazos Valley Wide Area Communication System (BVWACS), joining Washington, Grimes and Brazos counties and Texas A&M University.

Agreements approved were the First Amendment to the Interlocal Agreement for Managing Entity by the BVGOG for BVWACS with the county judge as signatory, and the First Amendment to the Second Restatement of the Interlocal Agreement for the Construction, Acquisition, Implementation, Operation and Maintenance of BVWACS.

According to Chief Deputy Todd Greene, the addition of Madison County will add more radios to the system while decreasing subscribers’ costs. He added that because of

He added that because of dead spots in the Texas Department of Public Safety radio system, Madisonville will be furnishing an additional tower. Greene said it is hoped that this will allow Burleson, Leon, and Robertson counties to join.

City of Anderson seeks office space

Anderson Mayor Karen McDuffie advised commissioners of the City of Anderson’s interest in an agreement with Grimes County regarding use of vacant county office space after the justice center is completed. At present, the city’s office is located in a small room in the corner of the Anderson Town Hall, 415 Hill Street, and McDuffie said the room is too small to house additional equipment or staff.

She said, “What I would like to do ultimately, is to be in the middle of town, for Anderson to have a presence here. I’d like to have a place to host visitors. Please think about what you might have available.”

Burn ban

The burn ban remains lifted.

Other court action:

•Approved Consent Agenda Items that included treasurer’s list of claims and bill and payroll.

•Received an update from the Maintenance/Project Manager Al Peeler on the courthouse, jail, and justice center.

•Approved the Order Regulating Temporary Signs on County property related to electioneering signage.

•Approved renewal of a service agreement with Cummins Service for the Onan 600K generator at the GCSO.

•After a public hearing before the commencement of the Regular Meeting with no public comments received, commissioners approved a proposed replat of Horseshoe Acres, lots 7-11.

•Approved the following grade changes effective Oct. 1, 2020: Records Management Clerk from 2 to 3; First Assistant Treasurer from 7 to 8; Second Assistant Treasurer from 6 to 7; Maintenance Custodian from 2 to 5.

•Received a Road & Bridge report from Engineer Harry Walker regarding bridge repairs, downed trees from storm damage, ditch and culvert work for drainage, TxDOT bridge inspections and TxDOT CTIF grant application.