Schleicher County Commissioners met Monday, June 17th with Greg Neal, representing Kinder Morgan, as well as Chris Wilson and Dean Corkrell representing Permian Highway Pipeline, LLC, concerning the 42-inch natural gas pipeline their companies are planning to construct across the county.

The commissioners agreed to allow the company to bore under seven county roads, but required a formal permit process to be completed. Each of the seven permit applications will cost the company $500. The county roads that will be crossed by the pipeline are CR 100, 201, 220, 243, 245, 404 and 408.

When completed, the pipeline will connect the Waha natural gas hub near Grandfalls with the Katy hub near Houston. Construction should reach Schleicher County in October as the pipeline approaches from the west. The commissioners expressed their pleasure that the pipeline will be passing through the county.

In other business, the commissioners learned from County Treasurer Jennifer Henderson that the county had received a check totaling $373,840 from District Attorney Allison Palmer. The money is to reimburse the county for expenses it incurred providing security and maintenance at the YFZ Ranch prior to its sale.

Discussion also focused on electrical problems and possible equipment damage sustained at the courthouse and Sheriff’s Office during a partial power outage over the weekend.

Justice of the Peace Phil Edmiston blamed the problem on AEP Texas, the company that delivers electrical power to customers in Eldorado. He said that the company delivered low-voltage electricity to homes and businesses in Eldorado for more than two hours.

Edmiston said the low-voltage caused damage to computer servers, phone equipment and air conditioning equipment and said he believed the company should be liable for the cost of repairs.

Contacted for comment, Gricelda Calzada, a spokesperson for AEP Texas, said that a lightning strike took out a single fuse at a substation transformer.

She noted that the loss of only one of three fuses may have caused customers to experience low-voltage, but not a total loss of power.

She went on to explain that AEP Texas is in the middle of a $36 million project to update the transmission lines connecting Eldorado to the rest of the state’s power grid.

Cazalda further advised that persons wishing to file a claim with the company should call 877-373-4858.

In other business, the commissioners called for bids for a transport load of highway diesel fuel. They also approved an “Order of Disbursement,” a device granted by the legislature that allows small population counties like Schleicher to issue payroll checks without the prior approval by the commissioners court.

The commissioners also authorized a letter to Marty Gibbs with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service requesting a County Extension Ag and Natural Resource agent for the county. In the letter, the county offers to provide $10,000 annually for salary support as well as county benefits. Also included is a county travel allowance of $4,000 per year. That’s the same as previous agreements the county has had with the extension service.

A change was then approved to the county’s personnel policy, allowing road crews to return to an eight hour per day, five day work week during the summer months.

The commissioners also instructed Jennifer Henderson to pursue an agreement with the Texas Association of Counties for the development and maintenance of a county website. A company called CIRA will maintain the website. The county will incur a one-time cost of $4,000 to build the website and will pay $800 per year for a maintenance and service agreement.

The commissioners approved trading selling some of its current road equipment, including a distributor and a chip spreader for $85,000 to help offset the cost of a two used maintainers. The 2006 and 2007 Caterpillar road graders will cost the county $125,000 each and will be purchased through the state buy board.

Other county equipment will be offered for sale on the Iron Planet website.

Jennifer Henderson asked for and received permission to include the names of two brokers in the county’s investment policy for “safety reasons.”

The commissioners heard revenue reports from the District and County Clerk’s office as well as the Justice of the Peace office. They also approved an inter-library contract for lending and trading of books.

County Judge Charlie Bradley presided over Monday’s meeting with Commissioners Chris Meador, Kirk Griffin, Johnny Mayo and Steve Nelson in attendance.