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Commissioners Court Tabled Road Closure Order, Approved Agreements, Contracts

Hopkins County Commissioners Court on Monday tabled a road closure order but approved several agreements and contracts as presented.

Road Closure

The court was originally scheduled to consider approving road closure order for a portion of County Road 3602 during their regular meeting Monday. However, Precinct 3 Commissioner Wade Bartley asked the court to table the motion as not all steps in the process required to close a road had been completed.

In order for a road to be closed or abandoned, the person making the application must follow 8 steps in order to submit the request to the Commissioners Court.

Those steps include getting a petition signed by a certain number of property owners in the same precinct and identifying using Appraisal District records “abutting landowners.” Letters must be also be obtained from any emergency district, school district, utility district and the county fire department that would indicate no objections to the road closure. Once all other terms are met the proposal may then be submitted to Hopkins County Commissioners Court for consideration. A notarized affidavit of certificate of posting must be displayed at the courthouse and two other places in the vicinity of the affected route.

Bartley said in reviewing the paperwork Friday, he discovered that the notice had not been posted for 20 days on site. He said he’d have the document notarized and posted for 20 days before its brought back to the court for consideration to approve the order closing a portion of CR 3602.

The Commissioners Court agreed to table the road closure order for CR 3602 until a future date.

Hospital District Agreement

Hopkins County Hospital District logo

An interlocal agreement to be retroactive dating back to March between the county and hospital district received unanimous approval of the Commissioners Court.

Endsley explained that the agreement is the same kind of agreement the approved allowing the Local Health Authority to hire RN Brynn Smith to assist the doctor. The hospital district agreed to pay Smith since she was already an employee there; this will allow those funds to be reimbursed through CARES Act funding to the hospital district for her duties as LHA nurse.

Hopkins County Fire Marshal Andy Endsley

“For simplicity, the hospital district agreed back in March to pay her since she’s already an employee over there. The CARES Act reimbursement is where this is going to be coming from. This is a very good local agreement. Judge Newsom and I have been working on this for a while, along with Aaron Welch helped us with this and the verbiage change,” Endsley said.

The HCFD Marshal said this type of agreement is something the county might want to consider securing with all seven school districts in Hopkins County. The agreement “would cover us to use” any equipment or facilities of the partnering agencies or entity, including use of vehicles, according to Endsley.

Capital Cases Program

Approved was an interlocal agreement between Hopkins and Lubbock County for participation in a Regional Public Defender for Capital Cases program. The agreement basically serves as insurance, to help cover the costs associated with prosecution of capital murder cases, should the county have any.

Hopkins County Sheriff Lewis Tatum recommended participation in the program. He reported three people accused of capital murder are currently held in the county jail.

Recognition

Hopkins County AgriLife Extension Agents Monday also noted that Hopkins County Judge Robert Newsom has been selected as Extension Supporter of the Year. The agents received a plaque to recognize Newsom. Dr. Mario Villarino expressed appreciation to Newsom for

Also Approved

The Commissioners Court approved a memorandum of understanding between the county and Ark-Tex Council of Governments for fiscal year 2021 COVID managed project and a contract for purchase of juvenile services by and between ATCOG and the county. Both, Hopkins County Judge Robert Newsom reported, are standard contracts the county approves annually to continue involvement in or services provided through ATCOG.

An agreement between Fastenal Company and Hopkins County Fire Department. Essentially, HCFD Fire Marshal Andy Endsley explained, the system will use the key fob used for entry into the building to help track what cleaning supplies and inventory are being distributed or given out by whom. This is the same system already in use at Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office, Endsley noted.

The Commissioners Court also approved Tawlene Lampp, nominated by Sulphur Springs ISD Board of Trustees earlier this month to represent the school district on Hopkins County Civic Center Board.

Como Volunteer Fire Department returned a signed agreement with the county to continue being dispatched to calls and receiving benefits from the county. Como VFD is the fifth VFD to get an agreement in and approved by the Commissioners Court. That leaves six VFDs who have yet to return agreements. The agreements are due by Dec. 1.

A couch at the District Attorney’s Office is being put up for bid. The couch was paid for using a Crime Victims grant funding, for use in serving those individuals. The couch is no longer needed. The DA’s Office has obtained permission from the funding group to sell it. Although an employee is interested in purchasing it, legally, it must be listed for sale. The county approve disposal of the asset through sale.

Hopkins County Courthouse

Author: Faith Huffman

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