Hopkins County Commissioners approved an employee health insurance plan, printer contract, and a new equipment purchase during Friday’s regular court session.
The Commissioners Court approved the Texas Association of Counties Health and Employee Benefits Pool plan, the health insurance program for county employees. The plan will provide the same coverage that county employees currently receive. The plan will begin on Oct. 1, 2021. To keep the deductible the same will cost an addition $52.04 per employee. The total will be $727.96 per employee per month. The increase will cost the county an additional $9,107 per month, County Auditor Shannah Aulsbrook told the Commissioners Court.
“I was at a meeting earlier this week with a number of county judges. Some counties pay part of the fees of employees. Hopkins County is able to pay 100 percent for the employees, however, not of their children or spouse,” County Judge Robert Newsom noted.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Mickey Barker made a motion, which was seconded by Precinct 2 Commissioner Greg Anglin, to approve the TAC HEBP plan for Hopkins County. The motion for health insurance at the same coverage level for an increase in cost to the county was unanimously approved by the Commissioners Court.
Precinct 4 Commissioner Joe Price presented for court approval the purchase of an $82,975 backhoe from Nor-Tex through BuyBoard. The contract will have a warranty that extends beyond the term outlined in the factory warranty.
“We got three of them. Some of them have got as high as 6,000 hours on them. We’ve had trouble here lately with one or two that weren’t running at all. We felt like we needed one more to make sure we’ve got one that will run,” Price said.
The county is not required to go out for bids on the purchase because it is through the purchasing cooperative, Aulsbrook noted.
Price made the motion, which was seconded by Precinct 2 Commissioner Greg Anglin, to approve the purchase of a B96C backhoe for Precinct 4 from Nor-Texas through BuyBoard cooperative. The motion received the unanimous approval of the Commissioners Court.
Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Tanner Crump told deputies the copier/printer units at HCSO “keep malfunctioning.” That has required the company they are leased from to be called to the sheriff’s office to check and work on the units to ensure they are functional.
The sheriff’s office’s current lease agreement was made with Advantage Copy Systems, a local company reported in the fall to have been acquired by Datamax. Newsom said Datamax contacted him directly about the serious problem the sheriff’s office has been experiencing with the printer/copier equipment and has proposed two new lease agreements for new Cannon copier/printers, one for the main HCSO use and another for the department’s CID department, at a rate that will be lower than is currently being paid for the service.
“If the price went down, that’s very positive,” Crump said.
“My understanding is this is going to be even better than what you had before,” Newsom said.
Crump noted the monthly fee includes toner, which can be expensive to replace. The sheriff’s offices, Crump estimated, uses about as much toner each month to equal the $165.59 per month lease contract per unit.
Newsom made the motion, which was seconded by Precinct 3 Commissioner Wade Bartley, to approve the 60-month lease agreements for copier/printer units for HCSO and the department CID as proposed. The motion received unanimous approval from the Commissioners Court.
The Commissioners Court approved the consent agenda which included the minutes from the June 14 regular Commissioners Court meeting and the work session which immediately followed that meeting that Monday morning as well as a request from Oncor Electric Delivery Company to construct electrical power distribution facilities that will cross under Shiloh Road, northeast of Loop 301 in Precinct 3, just outside Sulphur Springs city limits. The court too agreed to payment of bills, revenues and expenses, payroll and financial statements.
Reports from both constables’ offices, district clerk, environmental inspector and environmental law enforcement, AgriLife Extension office, fire department, both justices of the peace offices, sheriff, tax assessor collector and treasurer’s office were received by the Commissioners Court and entered into the official record.