Courthouse open house set for January 25

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The federal mid-term, state, and county elections are approaching quickly with less than two months before the Democratic and Republican primaries. During their Monday meeting, the Robertson County Commissioners set times for early primary voting and continued to work on a new election center which might be ready for the November 6 general election. It also set the date and time for a walk-through of the renovated Robertson County Courthouse on Saturday, January 25.
After an almost hour-long executive session over County legal matters, the court re-adjourned at 2:55 to take no action over matters discussed in closed session. Following its return to regular session, the panel approved minutes, bonds and oaths, and County Clerk collections of $22,292 for the month of December, 2013.
Next, the commissioners approved early voting locations and hours for the March 2014 Democratic and Republican Primaries, which will be February 18-28.
For the people who do not have Texas ID’s but needs a voter ID there will be three times and places you can get that done. On January 21 you can get your voter ID’s at the Bremond Justice of the Peace office from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. On January 22 you can get your voter ID at the Calvert Volunteer Fire Department from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and on January 23 from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the Hearne Tax Office.
The Court approved refunds of $6999.88 and $1,240.43 to Union Pacific for a tax over- payment and to Wells Fargo/Stanislaw after taxes were paid twice. It also accepted District Clerk’s office collections of $9,286.25.
Next, the panel approved the purchase of a new computer ($1,028) and monitor ($245) for the treasurer’s office. The old one, which had been in use since the Jackie Vann administration, no longer functioned. It opted to delay naming a private road off of FM 2446 until the property owner could create a road without gates.
Jim Hanks, the County’s construction manager, informed the Court that historical Courthouse re-construction would be completed this week with the Courthouse shut to foot traffic while the floor finishes set. Work on the punch list is nearing completion, he said, through third floor shutters might have to go in after the courthouse is turned over to the County next week. Residents are invited to walk through the new but old courthouse on Saturday, January 25, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, the walk beginning at the south (main) entrance. County offices will move back into the Courthouse on February 3 and 4.
Construction efforts will focus on the historic jail and the new election center after this week. Plans for the new Election Center have changed after a site inspection. The lot selected (north and across the street from the Franklin PD and next to the Extension office) has a 10 foot grade drop from back to front, forcing the election office to the front to avoid extensive dirt work and having to build a six-foot retaining wall. The Election Center will still have room for off-the-street parking in front of the lot, said Hanks. The architect’s plans are mostly complete, he added, and site work should begin soon.
Commissioner Donald Threadgill (Pct. 2) asked if the mound of dirt between the courthouse and old jail could be removed. It’s causing grates to get clogged with dirt. Hanks said he would take care of the problem.
The Court enthusiastically welcomed back County Auditor Candy Anderson who has been out on sick leave. At her request, the panel approved payment of public officials’ insurance through the Texas Association of Counties for $24214 and two invoice listings, the first for the Sheriff’s Department for $6,990.03 for the purchase of body-mounted cameras and microphones. All agreed it would be a good idea to have audio/video recordings of arrests and other incidents.
Second, the Court approved a regular invoice listing of $843,934.65. Of that amount, almost two-thirds went to insurance renewals and construction costs with $357,490 for courthouse construction, $104,055.08 for jail house construction.
With all items addressed, the court adjourned its first regular session of 2014.

Melissa Freeman \ Robertson County News

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