Stanford Honored at Commissioners Court

RECOGNIZED -- Commissioner Dean Stanford was awarded a certificate from the County Judges and Commissioners Association for his advanced studies in county and county governments. The award took five years to earn.

by Susan Wilder

Leon County Commissioners met Friday, September 29th, for their last regular meeting of the month. All were present except Commissioner Joey Sullivan who recently underwent surgery, but, according to reports, is recuperating well. Leon County Judge Byron Ryder presided over a full agenda.

Judge Ryder recognized Commissioner Dean Stanford for his work to receive a certificate from the County Judges and Commissioners Association of Texas. ?This is awarded,? said Ryder, ? to Commissioners who complete an advanced curriculum of courses on counties and county government. It is hard work to earn this achievement and not many obtain it.? The course took 5 years for Stanford to complete.

Melinda Wilson, President of the Leon County Master Gardeners, addressed the court to request a donation of $1,500 to be used this year to decorate the courthouse square for Christmas. Wilson said part of the proposed plans include taking up lights along the walkway and using laser lights in the trees instead. The court approved the donation.

Wilson also asked the court for authorization to use an area at the Expo Center to showcase ideas that the public could enjoy. Commissioner Ferguson said that the area (about 2 or 3 acres) designated for the Master Gardeners use will be just off the east side of the parking lot and include part of a pond.

Wilson said that plans include using raised beds and to eventually have an area to hold educational seminars and workshops. The request was approved.

Members of the Leon County Domestic Violence Advocates were present to request permission to put up a banner on the courthouse square for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This request was approved and a proclamation designating October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month was read by Judge Ryder. The banner will be put up at 11:30am on October 4th.

Approval was given for the Rifle Resistant Body Armor Grant for the Sheriff?s Office.

Approval was given for the Twin City Mission to use an office at the juvenile probation department for counseling and work on cases in this area. This mission offers free services including counseling for the juvenile probation program. Having an office in Leon County gives the counselors easier access to persons they may be able to assist with their services.

The Interlocal Agreement between Health and Human Services Commission and Leon County was approved.

Wendy Kirby of Grantworks addressed the court concerning the Agreement for the Mitigation Grant (for generators) and attaining access to e-grants. Grantworks was voted approval to write the grants and apply for the federal funds that may be available to Leon County because of Hurricane Harvey.

Leon County was one of the counties declared after Hurricane Harvey even though it did not receive damages. Federal funds though (400 to 700 million dollars) for the entire state may be available to counties that have a mitigation plan.

Currently, Leon County is still receiving funds successfully applied for after Hurricane Ike. The grants are 75% federal funds and 25% local. The county must fund the project entirely, and then be reimbursed the 75% after the project is completed.

The court voted to approved Melvin Lanningham to serve as the County Trapper. Lanningham is also the county Animal Control Officer. Lanningham must attended a two day training event in Temple. The court approved allowing Lanningham food and travel expenses to attend the training.

The salary supplement for the Tenth Court of Appeals was approved.

The court approved the new bond amount for the County Judge effective November 1, 2017, as per SB40, Section 1002.015 (guardianship) and Section 22.029 (Probate).

The dates for Commissioners Court and the holidays for the county offices were approved. The county observes 13 holidays during the year.

Approval was given to continue the project on CR 239. Commissioner David Ferguson explained that this is a FEMA funded project to finish a bridge and remove the temporary road that had been used while the project was under construction. This was a project that cost $500,000, and FEMA will reimburse the county 75% of that cost when the job is completed.

Approval was also given to continue to widen CR 282. This project, according to Ferguson, needs to be for five miles. It was more feasible to do only 3 miles and later complete the other 2 miles. Ferguson reported that there is a lot of traffic on this road. The state stopped funding projects like this for FM roads so that it is now up to the county.

A road use agreement on CR 112 in Precinct 1 was approved. And a road use agreement for Cross Texas Transmission in Precinct 4 was extended one more year. Judge Ryder noted that Cross Texas Transmission has been a good neighbor and has contributed funds for the Health Fair and for Veterans? Services.

Commissioner Stanford requested that the AgriLife van be used to transport performers from the hotel to the Expo and back during the concert on October 7th that will be held at the Expo. Proceeds from the performances on that date will go back to the Expo. The request was approved.

Donations collected this month for the Veterans? Services included Nucor for $750, Lone Star Freight Liners $250, Normangee State Bank $500, Ridley Plant $300, David Grimes $50, Cassandra Noey $50, and Mustang Tractor and Equipment $500.

The court considered two bids for janitorial services in county offices for the next year. Ambassadors? Services of Huntsville had the lowest bid but only about 1% lower than Smith Commercial Janitorial Services of Centerville. Smith was awarded the bid after commissioners discussed that Smith has been providing the service for the last nine years and there had not been any complaints.