Schleicher County Commissioners learned this week that their application for a Texas Parks and Wildlife grant has moved a step closer to approval. County Judge Charlie Bradley explained Monday morning during the regular meeting of the Commissioners Court that he received a letter stating that the county’s application for a grant to build an outdoor recreation facility would be reviewed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission during a public hearing set for Thursday, August 26, 2010 in San Antonio.
It was explained that the grant, if received, will be a $500,000 matching grant, meaning that the county would need to come up with an equal amount of cash, in-kind services, or a combination of the two. Commissioner Johnny Mayo noted that since the county had recently retired its debt on the Civic Center it might be able to borrow money to help provide the matching funds.
The county has proposed a project that would include a new swimming pool and a walking/biking track.
The commissioners briefly discussed not hiring a general contractor for the project and considered the possibility of letting the county act as its own contractor.
Among other business, the commissioners approved the minutes of their previous meeting, as presented by County Clerk Peggy Williams.
The court then met briefly with Janet Andrews who gave them a document to complete if the county wants to become an “intervenor” and urge the Public Utility Commission to require the use of monopoles instead of lattice towers on the proposed transmission line that would connect the Big Hill substation in northern Schleicher County with other substations in Kendall and Gillespie Counties. Andrews said the commissioners need to complete the document if they want to have a voice and participate in a public meeting slated for September 1st in Austin.
Road Superintendent Mark Graves then informed the commissioners about recent road repairs. Graves said road signs have been installed on several county roads, including County Road 242.
Judge Bradley asked Graves if his road crews could dig a cell for the City’s landfill. Graves was adamant that the county did not have the equipment to do the job. Graves said he obtained a bid from a dirt contractor to see what they would charge to dig the cell. He said the bid came in at over $100,000.
The commissioners asked Judge Bradley to invite Mayor John Nikolauk or City Superintendent Floyd Fay to come visit with them about what the city actually wants the county to do.
Maintenance Superintendent Mike Haynes informed the commissioners that the old boiler in the basement of the courthouse is obsolete and is in disrepair. He said there is a concern that it could leak carbon monoxide. The commissioners asked Haynes to come up with a budget for installing new heating and cooling equipment in the courthouse.
The commissioners then signed a resolution pertaining to HR 4719 indicating that they do not support the bill. The resolution will be sent to U.S. Congressman Mike Conaway’s office, so it can be presented in Washington. The bill calls for creating a task force consisting of the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Army Corps of Engineers, Economic Development Administration, Indian Health Service, Bureau of Reclamation and a relevant state agency designated by the each of the governors of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. The bill would give the federal agency the authority to determine priority of water projects and coordinate the activities of entities within the border region as they pertain to water usage and needs.
Jon Cartwright, representing the Plateau Underwater Water Conservation and Supply District, spoke next about language contained in the resolution. He said the water district is also apposed to HR 4719. Cartwright said the local district is already closely monitored by Region F and under Texas HB 1763.
The court also approved the Sheriff Fees for 2010 and agreed to sign a resolution submitted by the Hill Country Community MHMR to support keeping their funding with the state.
The commissioners then received bids for a transport load of diesel fuel. The court voted to accept a bid from Regal Oil in the amount of $2.41 per gallon. The only other bid came from T&C, in the amount of $2.4285.
The court then discussed drilling new water well somewhere around the golf course to supply water for the golf course and possible new pool if and when it is built. The commissioners also discussed the possibility of acquiring road base material from a pit near town.
The court then considered a new interlocal agreement with the City of Eldorado but took no action on the matter. It was noted the city and county cooperate on water, road base material and other services.
Before adjourning, the commissioners approved three indigent care requests totaling $620.89 for the payment of utility bills.
The court then entered into a budget workshop and will continue the process at 9 a.m. on Monday, August 30, 2010.