Washington County Commissioners have approved the purchase of a new flagpole for the county courthouse.

Commissioners at their meeting today (Tuesday) purchased a 50-foot counter balanced flagpole with a six-foot mounting base, which will replace the out-of-service radio tower currently on the courthouse roof. The county’s purchase totaled $22,800, which includes the flagpole, engineering fees, and delivery.

Commissioner Don Koester said this purchase will be a “great improvement” for the county, and will take a lot of weight off of the courthouse roof. County Facilities Manager Bobby Branham said the county needed to place this flagpole if it ever wanted to gear back towards a plan previously approved by the Texas Historical Commission.

Branham said he has heard mixed emotions from the public on the matter, but people typically were agreeable once he told them the courthouse would keep putting up Christmas lights. He said this flagpole will actually allow for twice the amount of lights than the tower, saying he plans to put 16 strings of lights up on the flagpole.

Commissioner Joy Fuchs said the county would work with Main Street Brenham to put up the Christmas lights. Branham said he believes they will also help with the cost of the lights, upon talking with City of Brenham Finance Director Carolyn Miller.

Debra Hendrick, a new citizen to Brenham and past owner of a flag store, asked if the lights would be hung on the pole the same time as the flag. Branham, along with County Judge John Durrenberger, reassured her the lights will only be up during the holiday season.

Branham said the flag project will come after completion of the roof replacement project with DK Haney Roofing, Inc., which will start next month. He added the company has said any type of sealant the county needs to put around the flagpole base will be covered under warranty.  He suggested selling the old radio tower on GovDeals once it is removed.

Cell Phone Sally (right) and Josh introduce themselves to Washington County Commissioners at their meeting Tuesday. The two will soon be taking part in community events and visiting schools in the area to educate people on the proper use of 911.

Commissioners also went through a series of monthly reports. In her report Washington County E-911 Director Kristi Stamnes introduced two new members of the department: Cell Phone Sally and Josh.  The two are part of nationally recognized 911 programs, and will start visiting area schools and taking part in community events to raise awareness for public safety.

According to Stamnes, each suit cost roughly $7,500, so the county was only able to purchase a Josh suit, using only donated funds. However, Tarrant County recently purchased a brand-new Sally suit and donated the old suit to Washington County.

Commissioners also approved:

  • A two-year extension of a lease agreement with the City of Brenham for the 911 dispatch center at 301 North Baylor Street.  The county has been renting the facility ever since it took over dispatching duties from the city several years ago.
  • An interlocal agreement with the volunteer fire departments in the county for fire protection services.
  • A supplemental easement and right-of-way agreement, release and easement pay schedule between the county and AEP Texas, Inc., concerning property in Tom Green County.
  • An amendment to operating agreement food services with Aramark Correctional Services, LLC.  The amendment extends the county’s contract with Aramark from July 19th to August 19th, to allow the group 30 days’ notice to cancel.  Last week, commissioners awarded a contract to Trinity Services Group for food services at the county jail.
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