Hopkins County Commissioners Court had a full agenda during their regular meeting this week, including discussion requests for qualifications for engineering and architectural services for two building projects, roof repairs, gutter and downspout replacements and a replat request.
Courthouse Roof Repairs
The county sought bids to remove and replace existing cooper gutters and downspouts on Hopkins County Courthouse. Hopkins County Auditor Shannah Aulsbrook reported that Horne Brothers bid of of $66,766 was the only one the county received for the project, which required bidders to attend a mandatory pre-bid meeting on Aug. 12, 2021, to discuss the project and receive the bid specifications and deadlines.
“We will receive insurance proceeds to cover this. To date, we’ve received, $35,497 for the gutters and $27,695 for hail damage to the slate. Once we’ve done these repairs, accept this bid, then we’ll receive the rest of that money,” Aulsbrook said. “We do need to accept that one bid so they can get the material.”
Precinct 3 Commissioner Wade Bartley made the motion, which was seconded by Precinct 2 Commissioner Greg Anglin the unanimously approved at the Aug. 23 meeting by the Commissioners Court, to accept the lone bid for the gutter removal and pairs at at the courthouse.
Courthouse Annex Roof Renovation
The Commissioners Court also sought bids for a roof renovation at the Hopkins County Courthouse Annex building. However, after reviewing them, Precinct 4 Commissioner Joe Price, who is overseeing that project for the court, asked that the court to temporarily table making any decisions on the project.
“We’ve looked at these bids and had a little problem possibly with the material that was going to be used. It wasn’t really fair on how we did it, so we put it back out for bids again,” Price explained.
Bartley second the motion, with the rest of the court following suit, voting in favor of temporarily tabling that agenda item.
A special court session has been scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 26, to consider and accept a bid for the annex building room renovation.
The project bid notice posted on July 28, 2021, called for those interested to attend a mandatory pre-bid meeting, then to receive bid specification. The project calls for an EPS Flute Fill and 80 mil TPO Roof Retrofit over the standing roof of the annex building. The applicant also is required to be a certified manufacturer installer capable of a 20-year material and labor warranty.
RFQs for 2 Construction Projects
Hopkins County Commissioners also put out requests for qualifications for architectural and engineering services for a Community Safe Room as well as architectural services for a county jail trustee housing facility. At the Aug. 13 deadline, the county had received two RFQs for each project.
A Selection Committee consisting of the Commissioners Court, Aulsbrook, grants facilitator Beth Wisenbaker, Fire Marshal Andy Endsley, Sheriff Lewis Tatum graded the RFQs on the 16th. Scoring criteria included experience, work performance and capacity to perform.
DRG received 775 points and Grace Herbert Curtis (GHC) receive 763 points, out of a possible 900 points. The committee’s recommendation was to go with DRG, which scored the highest number of points, for services for a Hopkins County Community Room.
DRG and Cutright responded to the RFQ for the Hopkins County Trustee Facility. DRG barely came in ahead of Cutright for the trustee housing project, receiving 823 points to Cutright’s 818 points, Aulsbrook reported.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Wade Bartley made the motion to accept DRG as the highest grade for the Trustee Housing facility. Anglin second the motion, which then receive unanimous approval of the court. Bartley also made the motion to accept DRG’s high grade for the Community Safe Room. Precinct 1 Commissioner Mickey Barker seconded the motion, which also received unanimous approval of the Commissioners Court.
The county is applying for Hazard Mitigation Assistance Grant Program/Building Resilience Infrastructure and Communities Program grant, funded by FEMA through Texas Department of Emergency Management, with a goal of constructing a Community Safe Room. If approved, the grant requires a 80/20 percent match, with 80 percent of funding coming from the grant and the county providing a 20 percent match.
The Community 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.
In order to make it as safe a location as possible, the Community Safe Room would be built much like the portion of Hopkins County Law Enforcement Center where inmates are housed. It would have solid concrete floors, as well as solid walls and ceilings to make it sturdy, able to withstand extreme weather such as a tornado. It would be located across from the county jail, would include restrooms and a kitchenette.
Construction of the safe room depends on the county being approved for funding to use for that purpose.
Hopkins County officials plan to use a portion of the $7-plus million the county has been awarded in American Rescue Plan Act to construct a 48-bed Trustee Housing facility to keep the male jail 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. Tatum estimated 35-36 trustees can be found on any given day on work detail.
The project would require four additional jailers, whose salaries would not be covered by the American Rescue Plan funding, to be in compliance with inmate-officer requirements. Those salaries would not be paid out of the ARP, state and local fiscal recovery funds, however, Aulsbrook noted. Tatum said jail revenues should cover the cost of the extra jail staff.
County officials are proposing cleaning up county-owned property on the north side of Houston Street across from the sheriff’s office and jail and building the Trustee Housing Facility on the site.
Having the male inmates at a separate facility would be easier for jail staff and those individuals who pick the inmates up for their work detail. The trustee facility would allow for better monitoring during the pick up and drop off process without causing congestion in the main booking area at the jail, which could potentially present a safety issue.
The Penn Addition Replat
The Commissioners Court was asked to replat Lots 1-4 of The Penn Addition, an old plat that originated in the 70s. The request was to combine turn the four lots and an area where a road was supposed to have been built but wasn’t into two larger lots of land and taking in the nonexistent road.
“He spoke to me about it. Really, it looks like a better deal than what we originally had. He’s got two lots here. They’ve all got 200 feet or more of frontage to the highway, so it didn’t require a subdivision plat, just a plat,” Precinct 4 Commissioner Joe Price said, making a motion approve the replat request.
Bartley seconded the motion, which was unanimously approved by the Commissioners Court.