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Commissioners Approve Corinth Deed Transfer, RFQ Committee

Hopkins County Commissioners Court approved Corinth School deed transfer, and FRQ Selection Committee and budget amendments for two donations, during their regular August 9 meeting.

Corinth School Property

Hopkins County Commissioners Court was asked to transfer the deed for the old Corinth School Property to the county resident who has been paying the taxes on the County Road 4772 property for the past few years. The measure, according to County Judge Robert Newsom, would simply be “a little cleaning up” of the history for that property.

“This kind of came to light last week. It’s kind of an interesting history of this,” Newsom said.

The area of Hopkins County known as Addran community was known as Corinth community in the late 1800s. When the post office was formed, it was given the name Addran.

Old Corinth School and two churches were once located in the northern Hopkins County community of Addran

Tommy Long and Kristi Brewer explained the information that had been pieced together from Long’s memory of family history, old Commissioners Court minutes and deed research.

The property in question, located on CR 4772 just off CR 4777, was among a 2 acre plot which included the school, with a Church of Christ on one side and a Baptist Church on the other. Tommy Long’s grandparents, SM and Edith Long, deeded the land to the county judge and his successors in office in trust for school purposes in 1916 and paid for by the trustees of the Corinth Public School No. 40. In 1916, there were 71 students attending school in Addran school, from an estimated 18-20 families who lived in Addran (the old Corinth) community. At that time, there were few schools and within about 3 miles of each other in the northern part of Hopkins County, including Addran (Corinth), Birthright, Macedonia, Tira and Sandfield. Peerless and Posey also had their own schools and churches, Long explained.

The Church of Christ trustees, via L. Vaden, received an acre and half a piece of property that joins the west side of the school by deed from AM and Mary E. Martin in 1876. On the east side of Corinth Public School, the Longs deeded a half acre to The Missionary Baptist Church of Addran in 1917.

Tommy Long noted that in those days a county school board controlled all of the rural schools, even though the rural schools had their own board, they still had receive approval through the county school board. That remained that way until the 1950s and 1960s. However, the small schools north of Sulphur Springs in 1941 and 1942 were consolidated to become North Hopkins Consolidated schools. Eventually, all three buildings – the churches and school were moved off the property.

In 1951, the Church of Christ trustees deeded the church property to Glyn Withrow, and the church was moved to property near where NHISD is located, and continued to be a church until about 5 years ago, when it disbanded. The Baptist Church was deeded back to the Longs in 1950 and the church was moved and still active as North Hopkins Baptist Church, located next to Dollar General in Birthright. The Old Corinth School house was relocated to North Caney to be used as a school, then was moved again to Highway 19, about 3 miles north of FM 71, and became part of a house.

Recently, a new survey was conducted along with deed research by Debbie Dicus at Professional Land Title Co. At that time, it was learned the tract of land where the school had been located was still in the name of Hopkins County. The Corinth school property went back to the county school board, and then when county school boards were dissolved reverted to the county, the judge and successors. That’d make the county judge and commissioners the deed holders for the property.

When the land in that area was purchased, the school land didn’t get corrected 8 years ago. Brewer said her client is preparing to sell the land, and in that process learned the county still has control over the property even though the client has been paying taxes on the property. Although a survey was done, there was not title policy at that time. The client purchased it and the deeds were drawn up, so there was no way for them to check that, because they did not go through title. It was flagged as not having a clear title. It’s fenced into an 11-acre property the client has been paying taxes on, Brewer noted.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Wade Bartley noted that a similar situation arose in Weaver last June. At one time the township of Weaver was subdivided. Streets were platted along with small lots. The streets, however, were never developed. At some point later, county roads were built. County Road 3531 did not follow the exact plat of the streets. When a piece of property was slated to be sold in “downtown” Weaver, a survey showed a small part of the house on the property is sitting on the county right-of-way. The underwriters for the title policy wouldn’t approve the deed “as is” because a small portion of the house was sitting on that old “street.” The county road is adjacent to the street right-of-way. Because of the “street” designation, legally, the right-of-way must be abandoned in order for that to be corrected and the property to be eligible for sale. So, the commissioners court approved an application and petition to close and abandon a portion of right-of-way off County Road 3531.

Bartley made motion to transfer the deed from Hopkins County to the current taxpayer. Precinct 4 Commissioner Joe Price seconded the motion, which then received full approval from the Commissioners Court to transfer the deed.

RFP Committee

Shannah Aulsbrook asked the Commissioners Court to approve a selection committee to review the requests for proposals for qualifications for architectural and engineering services for a trustee housing facility to be constructed across from the current jail and a new community safe room also to be located near Hopkins County Law Enforcement Center.

She proposed the RFP Selection Committee for the two projects consist of 9 individuals: Hopkins County Commissioners Court (the four commissioners and county judge), Sheriff Lewis Tatum, Fire Marshal Andy Endsley, Beth Wisenbaker who oversees grants for the county and Aulsbrook. The group would grade the RFPs once they are in, then that information would be used to select architectural and engineering services for the projects. In order to be eligible for funding for the projects, the RFP Selection Committee has to be chosen and approved.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Greg Anglin made a motion, with Precinct 1 Commissioner Mickey Barker seconding, to approve the RFP Selection Committee for the two projects as recommended by the auditor. The motion received the full approval of the Commissioners Court.

The Hopkins County Commissioners Court at their July 26 meeting authorized issuance of requests for proposals for qualifications for architectural services related to American Rescue Program funds or state and local fiscal recovery funds, for a Trustee Housing Facility. The facility would keep the trustees, who work in the community, separate from other inmates as a safety precaution against COVID-19 or any other illness being spread, and to better keep contraband such as snuff or controlled substance out of the county jail. The new facility, as currently estimated, would be constructed to house up to 48 beds for male trustees, and would require four additional jailers, whose salaries would not be covered by the American Rescue Program funding.

Also during the July 26 meeting, the Commissioners Court authorized issuance of requests for proposals for qualifications for architectural services related to a Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Programs application the county is submitting with a goal of constructing a Community Safe Room. If approved, the grant is an 80/20 percent match, with 80 percent coming from the grant and the county providing a 20 percent match. The safe room would serve multiple purposes. It could serve as a community shelter in times of extreme weather, or a site for certain types of mass distributions, such as a safe space from which vaccines could be administered. The Community Safe Room too would likely serve as a new Emergency Operations Center for the entire county,

Budget Amendments

Aulsbrook also recommended accepting a grant and donation, as well as two budget amendments to move those the funding into the correct funds for use. The

The $20,000 Community Assistance Grant Sabine River Authority awarded last Thursday to Hopkins County Emergency Management was moved from the grant revenue into emergency management operations fund budget so the funds can be used to finish outfitting a trailer and a $2,000 donation received for repairs on County Road 4724 be moved from a donation line into the Precinct 4 road building fund.

Recognition

Precinct 2 Constable John Beadle was recognized for successfully completing the 20-hour Fiscal Year 2021 Civil Process Seminar held July 18-21.

Sheriff Lewis Tatum

Sheriff Tatum noted that the Commissioners Court were invited to stop by to see the by the Texas Rangers’ quick response hostage negotiation trailer, sponsored by several community businesses, which was set up at the Civic Center Monday morning.

Tatum was asked if he and others involved could speak during the 3-day Sheriff’s Association of Texas’ school held in San Antonio last week about some of the programs that have been implements in the county jail over the last few years. They presented a 55 minute class, with slides depicting the various topics, including the commissary and farm to help the inmates not only while in jail, but to help prepare them for life upon release from jail, as well as being able to use the funds raised from the commissary to not only subsidize the programs and jail but to give back to other areas of the county as well.

Tatum said county jail and sheriff’s office have always been one of the biggest costs to the county, and these programs allow the department to give back. They talked about measures smaller counties can implement through their jail and law enforcement programs to benefit the entire county not only in service and protection but monetarily as well. One key to the programs’ effective, Tatum said, is the willingness of the various county entities working together for a common good, including the HCSO and the Commissioners Court.

Tatum said afterward, they were asked to visit some other counties across the state to share staff and officials how Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office and jail have made the program successful. Hunt County as requested that Tatum and the Hopkins County officials present the program to their Commissioners Court. Next week, the sheriff noted, officials from three other counties are scheduled to work with Dean and Crump to get a feel for the way HCSO does these things.

Author: Faith Huffman

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