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Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - July 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company


County Moves Forward With Law Enforcement Center
Houston County Courier - July 2008

Architect Wayne Gondeck presented cost estimates for the new Houston County Law Enforcement Center and Jail during a regular meeting of the Houston County Commissioners Court Tuesday morning, July 8.  

With actual building construction estimated at $11,045,000, the total project cost is estimated at $12,982,271.

The county plans to construct the new facility, which will include a 148-bed jail, sheriff’s office, and Justice of the Peace Court, on a 13.3 acre site located at 700 South Fourth Street in Crockett. 

The total project budget includes: $73,271 for land acquisition; $11,045,000 for building construction; $564,000 for site development, including site preparation, driveways, parking areas, excavation and drainage; $880,000 for architectural and engineering fees; $200,000 for equipment and furnishings and $220,000 for legal and issuance fees.
The county plans to finance the project by issuing certificates of obligation. 

Financial advisor George Williford, First Southwest Company, has estimated the county can obtain an interest rate of less than five percent. 

Taking into account a contingency fund for unexpected expenses, the court unanimously approved a resolution giving notice of intent to issue the certificates of obligation in an amount “not to exceed $13,500,000.”

Houston County Judge Lonnie Hunt stated he had spoken with Jim Landrum, general manager of the Vulcraft Division of Nucor Steel in Grapeland, and that Landrum expressed a desire to work with the county to provide steel for the project at below market prices.

“I am taking Mr. Gondeck to Grapeland this afternoon so they can begin discussing how we can utilize Vulcraft and Nucor products in this project to reduce the cost,” he said. 

“We are so fortunate to have Vulcraft’s presence here in Houston County, and I am confident that with their support, we will be able to build a quality facility for less.”

In other action Tuesday, the Houston County Commissioners Court re-appointed Dr. Willia Wooten to a two-year term as the county’s representative on the board of trustees of Burke Center. 

Based in Lufkin, Burke Center provides mental health services for Houston County and 11 other East Texas counties.

The Court approved a resolution to submit a grant application for the 2009-2010 Texas Community Development Program. 

The county will apply for a $250,000 grant for street improvements. 

Each commissioner has submitted a proposed road in his precinct for consideration. 

The county's grant consultant, Raymond Vann and Associates, will study the roads and make a recommendation as to which will score the highest in the grant application process.

The court approved a contract with Edoc Technologies for an upgrade of computer software in Houston County Clerk Bridget Lamb’s office. 

Ms. Lamb said the upgrade would allow for more records from her office to be available online, and for the records to be updated daily. 

The upgrade will cost $10,000.  That cost will not come out of the regular county budget but will be paid from the County Clerk’s Records Management Fund.

The court approved a new copier lease for the office of Houston County Tax Assessor/Collector Danette Millican, and authorized Road and Bridge Precinct 2 to purchase a used dump truck for $5,800 from the Texas Department of Transportation.

The court accepted a payment of $1,430 from Caltex Lumber of Nacogdoches for materials to repair damages to CR 4505 in Precinct 4, and accepted a $1,000 contribution from the Crockett Lions Club to be used by the sheriff’s office for materials to be used for drug presentations to students in Houston County schools.

Judge Hunt reported on continuing efforts to get the United States Congress to re-authorize the Secure Rural Schools and Communities Act which provides funding for roads and public education in counties where national forests are located. 

He also reported that Houston county will soon be upgraded within the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). 

Currently the county participates in the NFIP Emergency Program, but effective Aug. 1 the county will move into the NFIP Regular Program. 

This will allow residents in unincorporated areas of the county to purchase more flood insurance at a lesser cost.

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