County Commissioners opened the submissions for Architectural Services for the new Road and Bridge facility this (Tuesday) morning. Four Architectural Firms submitted qualifications, they are: Plan North of Brenham, Keese and Associates of Brenham, BBA Architects of Brenham, and Cutright and Allen Architects of Lagrange. Commissioners also appointed a committee to review the submissions. Making up the committee are: County Engineer Don Werth, Environmental Health Director Mark Marzahn, Rural Addressing Coordinator Cheryl Lewer, and County Commissioners Don Koester and Luther Hueske.
Commissioners also approved 6 subgrant payments from FEMA for road damage that occurred during the May 2016 flooding. The 75 percent reimbursements from FEMA will total over $546,000. County Judge John Brieden commented on the slowness of the payments saying that the approval still has to go back through FEMA’s auditing process before a check is issued, and that will take months. To date, commissioners have approved over $3 million in reimbursement requests, but only $1 million in payments have been received from FEMA.
Commissioners approved several items dealing with the County Jail. GTL was awarded the contract for jail inmate payphone services. Three bids were received for the service and the commissioners voted to stay with GTL. They also approved a 3 percent increase in the jail food service contract with Aramark Correctional Services. The cost to the county for inmate meals is going up 4 cents to $1.91 due to inflation. Commissioners also renewed a service agreement for maintenance of recording software and hardware used in the Sheriff’s Office interview room. Sheriff Otto Hanak said it was important to keep the equipment updated and operating because it is used as evidence in criminal cases.
In other action, commissioners received monthly reports from the various county departments. County Clerk Beth Rothermel said that 22,000 voter registration cards were mailed out in December and about 10 percent came back undeliverable. State law does not allow the cards to be forwarded, so now her office is sending out conformation letters that can be forwarded and will hopefully hear back from the voters.
In other action, commissioners:
Approved bonds for the Chief Deputy and Deputy Clerk with the Treasurer’s Office
Awarded the bid for steel products for the Road and Bridge Department to The Railroad Yard.
Approved a Temporary Above Ground Water Line on Wickel Road for GeoSouthern Energy.
Approved an Emergency Road Bore to repair a water line on W. Briarwood Road.
Approved a re-plat of a property on Airport Road.
Approved bonds for two Reserve Deputy Sheriffs.