Somervell County officials are moving forward on talks with a potential Canada-based buyer for the Expo Center.
At their regular meeting on June 12 the commissioners voted 5-0 to see if suitable terms can be reached with Mosaic Event Services, LLC, based in British Columbia.
County Judge Danny Chambers said the county got a letter of intent from the company. Bids for the Expo Center were accepted through June 9, and Mosaic was the only bidder.
The commissioners’ vote was to “see where it goes from there,” Chambers said. “The purpose of the letter of intent was to create a rough guide the formal agreement will have.”
Once the exact terms of the agreement are decided, the formal agreement can then be drafted.
A Somervell county woman is representing Mosaic’s owner, and officials are “pushing for it to be wrapped up by the end of June,” Chambers said. “Until the final contract is drawn up and executed, everything is subject to negotiation. There are several things we’re going to want to make sure of and get some comfort for the taxpayers on.”
The commissioners also approved a formal bi-lateral written agreement with Erath County to house some of the overflow male inmate population from the Somervell County Jail. The county will pay $38 per day for each inmate Erath County accepts. The two counties already had an informal verbal agreement.
Somervell County is currently set up to house only female inmates, so it has similar agreements with jails in Hood, Johnson, Bosque, Falls and Burnet counties to house male inmates when the jail’s capacity is reached.
The jail in Glen Rose has a 54-bed capacity — although when there are 48 or more, extra jail staffing has to be brought on duty. The average number of inmates in the local jail is between 40 and 45.
As of Tuesday, only 19 of the 45 inmates in the Somervell County jail are females from Somervell County or facing local charges. The rest are inmates from Hood County.
West and Deputy Chief Dwayne Griffin said that when the agreement with Hood County began a few years ago, Somervell County was making roughly $200,000 per year off of the deal because of the differential in the numbers shared.
That income has dwindled in the last few years, however. Last month Somervell County collected only about $6,000 from Hood County.
“Everyone around us is just full,” Sheriff Alan West explained.
Commissioners had a unanimous vote approving an inter-local agreement with the Glen Rose ISD for the new COPsync 911 program that had been previously approved.
COPsync is a quick-response system that provides officers and other first responders instant information pinpointing locations of distress messages during emergencies. It can also be useful when severe weather emergencies are threatening the county.
The inter-local agreement provides MacBook computers owned by the school system for the Sheriff’s Office vehicles to implement COPsync 911. The computers will remain property of the GRISD.
“We’re still in the process of getting that all in line,” Chambers said.
Two topics were discussed in executive session by the commissioners, but no action was taken on either afterward.