2012-03-15 / Front Page

Drivers License Office to Re-Open in Lee County

Courthouse Balcony Repairs

Lee County Commissioners learned recently that the State Drivers License Office will be reopening in Giddings. It is anticipated that it will be opened at its original location, at 170 E. Industry just off of Hwy. 77, across from the Giddings Police Department, later this month.

They also learned that it will be open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays of each week.

The State Drivers License Office has been closed in Lee County since January 2011. Budget cuts and outdated technology were two reasons cited by the Texas Department of Public Safety for closing area drivers’ license offices. Among those closed were the Giddings office, as well as the Caldwell, Elgin, and LaGrange offices. During this time, the closest drivers license locations were in Cameron, Bastrop or Brenham.

Monday, the Commissioners approved an Interlocal Cooperation Contract between The Texas Department of Public Safety and the County, so that the office could be re-opened. This is something that Judge Paul Fischer and the Commissioners’ Court have been requesting ever since the office was closed.

The Court also gave final approval of its contract with ATC Contractors, Inc. ,for the structural balcony framing repairs at the Courthouse. ATC was selected at the last meeting of the Court to be the contractor to fix the dangerous conditions with the balcony. The balcony is currently closed until these repairs are made. Work is expected to begin around April 16, after final engineering work is completed, and approval is received from the Texas Historical Commission.

The Court also approved the proposal from Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. for the construction, administration and project closeout for these repairs. The funds for this activity is already included in the budget for the project.

In Other Action

In other action, the Court agreed to settle with Structural Concrete Systems, LLC concerning the numerous claims for liquidated damages. They agreed on an amount of $40,000, which is money that will not be paid to the contractor under the terms of the original contract.

The Court agreed to extend the lease with St. Mark’s Medical Center for the office space currently leased to St. Marks on East Industry in Giddings. The lease will be extended for six months to allow St. Mark’s to assess their needs and future plans in Giddings.

The Court also approved two change orders from Beard Mechanical, Inc. for work being done as part of the Lee County Law Enforcement Center Upgrade. The sum of $9,000 is already budgeted in the upgrade project.

The Commissioners agreed to apply for grant funds from FEMA concerning the large number of wildfires this past year. Any funds received will be passed on to the local volunteer fire departments in the County. There are no matching funds required.

The Court approved an agreement concerning mutual aid between all the volunteer fire departments in Lee County. Having this agreement in place will expedite approval for grant money that either has or will become available.

No action was taken on an expected request for advertising costs for the upcoming Hog Eradication Program. Also, no action was taken concerning revising the On Site Sewage Facility Regulations.

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