2011-09-15 / Front Page

Lee County Commissioners Finalize Re-Districting

The Lee County Commissioners, at their regular meeting on Monday, September 12, 2011, adopted the order for the latest re-districting plan for the County, based on the 2010 Census. There were very few changes from the plan discussed in earlier workshops. The latest plan closely resembles the previous one from the 2000 Census. However, due to population shifts and requirements of the Federal Justice Department, some areas will see a change of Precinct and a consequent change in County Commissioner. If there are questions, the current Commissioner should be able to answer them. A map showing the new districts will be published in next week’s paper.

In other action, the Commissioners added approximately $14,500 to the Contingency Fund for the Courthouse Project. In addition, they approved 21 additional Change Proposals. All of these have to do with the 30 voids discovered so far in the foundation of the Courthouse. Each of these must be cleaned out, the steel inspected, cleaned, and if necessary, repaired; all before they can be filled with new concrete. This adds to the cost of the repair and also the time required for the effort. Because of this, the Court has added 45 days to the Substantial Completion schedule, which is now set for November 12, 2011. The Court also approved the plans and specifications for the balcony and portico wall repairs in the Courthouse. The cost of these repairs has already been discussed with the Texas Historical Commission and the State’s portion (2/3) of this cost was included in the recent supplemental funding from the State. Lee County will fund the other third.

The Court also approved an Advance Funding Agreement for two bridge replacements or rehabilitations: one on CR 309 at Middle Yegua Creek, and the other on CR113 at Elm Creek. No timetable for these projects has yet been determined.

The Court heard a presentation from Ardell Ray, representating the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. During this presentation, the Court learned that the existing Lee County Board for Child Welfare does not meet State requirements at present. The State requires that there be at least seven members on the Board. Judge Fischer noted that currently there are only three members active at this time. As explained by Ray, until this requirement for seven board members is met, no contracts with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services can be agreed to.

The Court also agreed to changes to the office building located at 898 East Richmond in Giddings as submitted by Bluebonnet Trails Community Services, which is housed in the building in question. The fencing and decking plans were approved at no cost to the County.

In other action, the Court set October 8, 2011 as the County Cleanup day for collection of nonhazardous waste materials.

The Court also approved the consolidation of certain voting Precincts for voting in this year’s Constitutional Amendment election scheduled for November 8, 2011. These voting places will be published at a later date.

The court also voted to go out for bids for Gasoline and Diesel and they approved paying certain time-sensitive bills, such as utility bills, for the County when they become due, even if the due date is between regular meetings of the Court.

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