By Will Johnson
HOUSTON COUNTY – The Houston County Commissioners Court met in a called meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 29 to address several matters before the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 and the start of FY 2021.
The first several items brought before the court pertained to COVID-19 related matters. As part of this, Judge Lovell said a grant the county had received to help provide funding in the ongoing battle against COVID-19 would have some money remaining.
“The TEA (Texas Education Agency) will match it dollar-for-dollar. My recommendation is to give the five schools in the county $2,000 each. If I remember right, we can do this and not be over our limit of expenditures on this grant,” Lovell said.
A motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved to donate $2,000 to each school district in the county.
The next COVID-19 area of discussion concerned the Houston County building policy. Sheriff Justin Killough said he had looked over the proposed policy and commented if it was okay with County Attorney Daphne Session, he was also fine with it. The matter was unanimously approved by the court.
The third area of COVID-19 matters to be discussed pertained to a contract with Consulting and Security Services, Inc. for armed uniformed security screeners called for under COVID-19 Operating Plans for the courts of Houston County.
“This is to utilize these screeners to get back in the courtroom for court duties, instead of just staging them in one spot. As the courts are opening back up, it will take additional manpower at the courthouse,” the sheriff said.
Killough added while the hiring of more deputies had been discussed, he felt it would be more prudent to use an outside agency on a temporary basis as opposed to hiring new personnel on a two-to-three month basis and then having to terminate their employment. This measure was also approved by the court.
In other matters brought before the court:
- An interlocal agreement with the city of Crockett for dispatching and detention services in FY 2021 was approved.
- The court approved a contract with Northland Communications to upgrade the internet connection at the Houston County Jail and cancelled the current contract with Windstream.
- The commissioners gave their approval to advertise for bids for the installation of an Automated Weather Observation System III with Present Weather Sensor, Thunder Strike Alert.
- A contract with Turn Key Health Clinics for inmate health services – to begin on Nov. 1 – was approved by the commissioners.
- Hotel Occupancy Tax Funds for Christmas in Crockett were approved for Christmas in Crockett in the amount of
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com.