Workman Updates Court On High Speed Rail

Kyle Workman, Texans Against the High Speed Rail

Kyle Workman, the chairman of Texans Against the High Speed Rail, was in Commissioners Court Wednesday, September 25th, to give an update on the High Speed Rail. All the commissioners were present for their last regular meeting of the month except Commissioner David Grimes. Leon County Judge Byron Ryder presided.

Workman reported that a brief has been filed in the appeals court in Corpus Christi concerning the Miles case. This case is expected to go to the Supreme Court with each side promising to appeal to that court if they are not satisfied in Corpus Christi. This case will test Texas Central?s (the builders of the High Speed Rail) claim of eminent domain.

The Miles case originated in Leon County by a resident who took Texas Central to the Leon District Court to determine if Texas Central had eminent domain. District Judge Deborah Evans ruled that Texas Central did not have eminent domain. That judgment is now being tested in the appeals court at Corpus Christi.

According to Workman, there is no agency overseeing the Texas Central Project. ?It does not meet regulations of the federal government, so they have applied for a waiver to allow them to operate without meeting regulations.?

Workman also reported that Texas Central is on its fourth design of its ?bullet train?, but still has no funds and is 90% over their proposed budget and has not yet started construction. ?They do not have eminent domain, they do not have funds, and there is no progress despite Texas Central claims.?

Judge Ryder read aloud a Proclamation Declaring October Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In addition to bringing awareness to this problem, the hope is to improve response to it, and to one day eliminate it. Dawn Parker, a victim of domestic abuse advocate, said that October 3rd has been set as a day on the Centerville Square to help bring awareness.

Ryder thanked Parker and other advocates for their continued work in the program that councils and encourages victims of domestic violence. ?There has been an increase of abuse being reported, and in general a more openness and awareness to this problem in our community.?

Election Administrator Donna Golden was in court in preparations for upcoming elections. The appointment of election judges and alternate judges were approved for a two year term. And an appointment of Early Voting Ballot Board for a two year term was approved.

The court approved a bid of $2,000 from Grant and Rayna Campbell for property located at Lot 2, Hilltop Lakes, Section 60, Volume 4, Page 1.

The court approved a payment to Tammy Sanders (County Judge Assistant) for mileage and per diem for LGS Conference attended in August in the amount of $205.44.

The decision to continue to hold Commissioner Court Meetings on the second Monday of the month and on the third Wednesday following the second Monday was approved. Also approved were the county holidays for the next calendar year.

The appointment of Chief Walter Dyches (Normangee ISD) to the Homeland Security Advisory Committee at BVCOG was approved.

The Interlocal Facility Development Agreement between Leon County and Brazos Valley Action Agency, Inc was approved.

The agenda item to discuss the amount of money for the Census 2020 advertisements was tabled because the amount was unclear. The county is also waiting for the possible grant that could be awarded to cover this expense.

A contract for professional services for Commissioners Court precinct redistricting was approved. And the Avenu 2020 contract renewal for County Clerk was approved.

Commissioners agreed to take bids to sell 2 acres adjacent to the Centerville ISD football field.

Jim Nash and George Holleman were re-appointed to the Mid-East Texas Conservation District for another 4 year term starting January 1, 2020.

The court approved the Affordable Care Act measurement period policy.

The court approved an application request for Solid Waste Management FY2020 Grants.

Approval was voted for the personnel policy change regarding section 4.03, longevity.

Also approved: the amended Order for Disbursement of Salaries and Routine Office Expenses to add Insurance and Juror Payments.

Approval was given for the donation of $988. to the Senior Nutrition Center. And the contract with Thyssenkrupp for annual inspection services on the Courthouse elevator was approved.

Judge Ryder reminded everyone that a Health Fair will be held October 8th, at the First Baptist Family Life Center in Buffalo from 10am to 2pm. Flu shots will be given. And a second Health Fair will be held at the Expo Center on October 10th from 10am to 2pm for children. Veterans? Day will be celebrated at the Expo on October 12th.