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Board Appointment, Grant Application Approved By Commissioners Court

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Subdivision Query Posed By Potential Developer

Hopkins County Commissioners Court Monday morning approved a board appointment and gave the go ahead for the district attorney to apply for grant funding, and answered a query regarding the county’s subdivision rules.

Victims Assistance Grant

8th Judicial District Attorney Will Ramsay

District Attorney Will Ramsay asked the court to approve a resolution which would allow his office to apply for funding from Victims of Crime Act Formula Grant Program for victim assistance coordinator services and legal assistant services.

The funds help fund the salary of his victims assistance coordinator and partially pay for another of the district attorney’s office employees.

“We match 20 percent of that” for the victims assistance coordinator. The funding is “a great deal” for the county and DA’s office, because it allows them to hire the coordinator, while only having to pay only 20-cents for every $1 of her salary.

The DA’s Office will appear before a group in April to request the funding. In order to be eligible to apply, the county must support the application, according to the DA.

Ramsay extended thanks to Auditor Shannah Aulsbrook and Kelly Kaslon, with HR and county administrator, for their support of the District Attorney’s Office, working with the and their willingness to be available to assist the DA’s office.

County Judge Robert Newsom extended thanks to the DA, sheriff’s office and police department, which he credited as huge factors in the low crime rates in Sulphur Springs and Hopkins County.

Lakes Regional Board

Hopkins County Judge Robert Newsom recommended to the board that Dana Sills be appointed as Hopkins County’s representative on the Lakes Regional Community Center Board of Trustees, the board that oversees mental health and Intellectual and Developmental Disability services facilities in 15 counties, including Hopkins County. Sulphur Springs has facilities on Airport Road, Hillcrest Drive and Industrial Drive.

The proposal to appoint Sills as the county’s representative on the board first appeared on the Feb. 24 Commissioners Court agenda, but was postponed at that time. Newsom, who had been involved in the recommendation process, was unable to attend the Feb. 24 meeting, so the commissioners opted to postpone any decision regarding the appointment until information could be gathered.

Newsom on Monday, March 9, told the commissioners that he’d been involved in the process of selecting a recommendation. Interviews were conducted. Following that process, Sills was the recommendation for the appointment, the judge explained.

The court approved the recommendation of Sills To represent Hopkins County on the Lakes Regional Community Center Board of Trustees.

Racial Profiling

Precinct 1 Constable Norman Colyer submitted to the court a document regarding racial profiling. He reported that he does not in the normal course of his duties make traffic stops, and is therefore exempt from having to file a racial profiling report. The exemption was submitted to Texas Commission on Law Enforcement; a copy of the document was submitted to the court to be filed as part of the official county record.

Subdivision Query

Steve Hudson, Joe Jennings

Joe Jennings appeared in Commissioners Court to find out if they the court is firm on the subdivision rules established for the county.

“The rules and regulations that y’all have passed, I just wanted to make sure that was going to stand; if anybody did do a subdivision, that it’s not going to be something that’s moving back and forth, that would possible change the cost for whoever was going to develop,” Jennings queried.

Jennings said he was not appearing to try to change the minds of the court members regarding the current rules, but to seek assurance that the regulations will remain unchanged.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Greg Anglin said that’s the reason for drafting the subdivision regulations and as far as he is concerned, they stand.

Precinct 1 Commissioner Mickey Barker said the impetus behind the subdivision rules was to support the individuals buying lots and moving into house in subdivisions. He said the rules were not intended to put an extra burden on the developers. He acknowledged that there could be criteria that comes up and require addressing on a lot by lot basis, but overall, the standards will remain the same as far he’s concerned too.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Wade Bartley said he doesn’t immediately see it changing, but 10-20 years down the line something could arise that would improve conditions in subdivisions. Change could happen, but none is currently planned.

When asked how quickly he anticipate starting development of a subdivision, Jennings said he does not have a timeline yet. He is still getting prices together but, in doing so, wanted to make sure there were no planned changes that would allow another developer to put in a subdivision and sell their lots considerably cheaper. Jennings said wanted to ensure the same standards would be upheld.

“I don’t when you say there still may be change, I don’t know how much assurance you are giving me,” Jennings said.

“There is no intent to change the rules that we have put in place,” Barker. “I’m going to say we would stick with those subdivision rules and regulations. Just like Wade said, things could change with different people sitting in these benches here as things go forward 20 years from now. I guess what we’re trying to tell you going forward we have no intent to change anything, and we will support you in your endeavor.”

Newsom pointed out that Steve Hudson actually helped develop the subdivision rules, raising the requirements which would result in better services such as better roads and better access.

“A lot of thought went into this. In fact, we worked on it well over a year. It was about a year and a half before we ever finally passed these rules. So, I can speak, I believe, for the five of us, Joe. We worked hard on these rules and we believe they are in the best interest of the county. So, the five of us would say we’re going to stick by the rules that we have right now. Ten years from now, 20 years from now, there will be a different set of commissioners and a judge. I don’t think we can speak for the, Joe. We speak for this one. That’s all you can ask, I believe,” Newsom said.

“Yes, that is what I’m asking,” Jennings said. “I thank y’all very much.”

“He’s in my precinct. I’ll say this. He’s got a pretty place to build, a nice place and should be some attractive homes, about a half mile off highway 19, I would guess. As a matter of fact, you can see it from highway 19,” Precinct 4 Commissioner Joe Price said.

Consent Agenda

The Commissioners Court also as part of the consent agenda Monday approved:

  • Minutes for a regular meeting on Feb. 24 as well as work sessions on Feb. 18, March 2 and Feb. 24; and
  • Request from Farmers Electric Cooperative, Inc., to construct electric power distribution facilities which will cross County Road 4131, south east of the Interstate 30 service road in Precinct 4, and across County Road 3341, south of County Road 3625 in Precinct 3.
Hopkins County Commissioners Court
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Author: Faith Huffman

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