The Somervell County Commissioners Court held a regular session on Monday, July 14. They tackled a long agenda and held three executive sessions before adjourning at noon.
One of the first items up for discussion was a request from the Somervell County Fire Department to purchase a foam trailer. The court received a bid from Metro Fire at a June meeting for a $45,427 trailer that did not include foam. Firefighters have worked with the company to bring the price down to $43,762 with foam. The trailer will help the fire department battle larger blazes in the county.
The court also agreed to waive the loading fee for chips and mulch at the landfill. With dry weather conditions, the concern was that the chips and mulch were becoming a fire hazard. They hope more people will be encouraged to use the mulch if they do not have to pay the fee.
A spokesman from Crest Water addressed the court concerning water supply issues for two customers in the Cheyenne Hills subdivision. The spokesman said the two households were originally drawing water from a well that has collapsed and consequently they have been without water for two weeks. He said Crest Water is the only water company close enough to service the two houses, but a water line needs to be placed on the easement at County Roads 406 and 407.
Somervell County Judge Walter Maynard said he was concerned the new waterline may cause issues down the road for future developments. After some discussion, the motion was passed and Crest Water will be allowed to bore the waterline as needed.
Happy Hills on Hwy. 144 was hoping to persuade the court to help build a turning lane in front of their facility. The Texas Department of Transportation had already agreed to supply the labor, but Happy Hills still needed to pay $40,000 for materials. Commissioner Lloyd Wirt said Happy Hills has so far been unable to raise the funds and they hoped the court would be able to cover part of the cost.
Judge Maynard and commissioner Mike Ford had reservations about “opening that proverbial can of worms.”
Ford agreed the entrance was dangerous from both directions on Hwy. 144, but he doesn’t want to set a precedent. He was concerned that with rising costs, the county would have enough on its plate maintaining county roads and felt the state should be responsible for maintaining and improving state highways.
The court unanimously decided that no action would be taken and no money would be appropriated for the project.
The court heard a brief report on the hospital construction project. All bids for the project came in under the budget already approved by the court. The contractor hopes to break ground this week and plans to build the helipad first.
Election judges and alternate judges were reviewed and the court approved the list for a one-year term. Six polling places were also assigned: Place one is the Glen Rose City Annex; Place two is the Senior Citizen Center; Place three is at the Community Center; Place four is the Masonic Lodge; Place five is at the New Prospect Baptist Church in Nemo; Place six is the Rainbow Baptist Church in Rainbow.
The court adjourned to discuss three topics in executive session involving personnel matters, property management and economic development.
After lengthy discussion, the court reconvened in open session. They announced all current non-certified part-time county employees would receive an hourly raise. Employees will be paid $7.50 to $8 an hour depending on experience.
Before adjourning, the court also decided to open Lot No. 5 in the Industrial Park for improvements. No action was taken on the economic development issues discussed in closed session.