Hopkins County Commissioners during a Monday work session discussed a number of topics, including the outdoor sound stage at the Civic Center, building maintenance, wrecking and salvage yard regulations, and NETEX’s railroad vegetation maintenance proposal.
According to Judge Robert Newsom, the court conferred with Hopkins County Civic Center Manager Lonnie Fox regarding the condition and use of the outdoor sound stage, or Coca-Cola Sound Stage. Fox reported the stage, excluding the past year, hasn’t been used as frequently in recent years as it once was in the past. He also reported on repair needs. While no major changes are planned imminently, the court was asked to consider the possibility in the future of eventually putting another building up in that area to take place of the stage, an area better suited to community use, according to the judge.
The court also discussed the possibility of contracting for a building consulting agreement, one in which someone would go through all of the county’s buildings, piece by piece to see what repairs and maintenance are needed regularly for each. A consultant would be hired to make sure they are maintained with routine maintenance as needed. This would take care of those things that should be checked on a regular basis, but are not necessarily among the daily matters that county maintenance staff tend, such as cleaning leaves from gutters and changing air conditioning filters.
“We want to make sure our buildings are maintained. We can do better than we are doing right now,” Newsom said.
He noted that building consulting agreements are anticipated to be presented for court consideration during a future Commissioners Court meeting.
Also during Monday’s workshop, the Commissioners briefly discussed the need to update the wrecking and salvage yard regulations. The county’s regulations haven’t been updated since 1988, and need to be updated to include any changes made by state and national officials. More work is needed on these before a proposed update is presented to the court for consideration.
The court also discussed railroad vegetation. An official with Northeast Texas Connector (NETC), operator for Northeast Texas Rural Rail Transportation District (known by NETEX), has been contacting counties that share in NETEX to see if each would be willing to assist in clearing of vegetation off or around the railroad tracks through their county. The matter of the county being requested to provide financial assistance has also been discussed by the NETEX Board.
Newsom said no decision has been made regarding what if any assistance Hopkins County will commit to regarding removal of vegetation. No agreements have been reached regarding the matter.