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New HCSO Trucks, Election Judges, Updated County Calendar Approved

New trucks for the sheriff’s office, an updated county holiday calendar, appointment of election judges and alternates, two agreements with governmental entities and the county-maintained road mileage inventory were among the items discussed and approved by Hopkins County Commissioners Court during their regular meeting earlier this week.

New HCSO Trucks

Hopkins County sought bids for two 2021 model or newer half-ton pickup trucks to serve as inmate transport vehicles for Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Deputy Tanner Crump noted the two that the department has been using are having to be refurbished back to patrol, so new HCSO trucks are needed to get inmates from on jail to another, court or medical care.

“With the current market the way that it is, we felt like it would be best to purchase the vehicle instead of ordering the vehicle, which could take longer to get,” Crump said.

County Auditor Shannah Aulsbrook reported the county received two bids. Brian Toliver Ford bid $37,866.26 for 2-wheel drive pickups and $41,555.76 for 4-wheel drive trucks. Texas Country submitted bids for 4-wheel drive vehicles at a cost of $40,000 for both. The preferred choice, according to Crump, is to go with the bids from Texas Country for 4-wheel drive trucks.

“Just to put it on the record, one would be paid for from commissary and the other will be paid for from their federal housing revenue,” Aulsbrook said during the Aug. 23 meeting, referring to the inmate commissary fund and and the $70 per day per inmate fee paid for housing federal inmates at the county jail. “It’s not taxpayers’ dollars.”

Precinct 2 Commissioner Joe Anglin made a motion, which Precinct 4 Commissioner Joe Price seconded, to accept the bid from Texas Country for the purchase of the trucks to serve as HCSO transport vehicles.

Hopkins County Sheriff's Truck
Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office vehicle

Budget Amendment

Aulsbrook noted a budget amendment was needed to move $40,000 out of the fund with fees the county receives for housing other facilities and agencies’ inmates into the sheriff’s auto expense account to cover that portion of the HCSO new truck purchase.

“I just want to put in the record, the money he’s received from to-date has brought in $703,491.66 from housing federal inmates. After you take give this $40,000, there will be $563,491.84 left of it. He’s bringing in funds every month,” Aulsbrook noted, then turning to Sheriff Lewis Tatum, added, “I just want to thank you. We couldn’t have done this budget without the help of your programs, what you’re. It’s awesome, what you are doing.”

Tatum credited Jail Administrator Kenneth Dean for overseeing the jail programs.

“We recognize that you worked harder to make this happen, and we say thank you Sheriff’s Office; as a whole, you make it happen,” County Judge Robert Newsom said.

The Commissioners Court unanimously approved the budget amendment to move the funding for the sheriff’s truck

Election Judges

County Clerk Tracy Smith asked the court to approve appointment of election judges. She noted election judges and alternate judges serve a 2-year term. The next term will begin Sept. 1, 2021, and end Aug. 31, 2023. All of the recommended judges had indicated a willingness to serve in the position.

The Commissioners Court approved an order appointing Barbara Grubbs as early voting judge and Michael Wolfe as alternate for early voting. Also appointed by precinct voting place, judge and alternate were:

  • 1 Lutheran Church – Doug McCool Tiffany Yarbrough
  • 2A Morning Chapel Missionary Baptist Church – Gena Prickette Michelle Gasaway
  • 3 Courthouse – Sheila Funderburk Patsy Neal
  • 3A Grace Family Church – Caz Kivell Mack Pitts
  • 4 Civic Center – D’Anne Chaney Brenda Sabbagh
  • 4A League Street Church of Christ – John Berning Angela Zahn
  • 5 Saltillo ISD – Melinda Daniel (no alternate listed)
  • 11 Cumby Municipal Building – Menzie Chase Art Romanant
  • 12 Sulphur Bluff ISD – Kim Willhite David Larkin
  • 13 Como-Pickton CISD – Peggy Childs Gary Littrell
  • 16 Miller Grove ISD – Mary Anne Spears Debbie Young
  • 17 North Hopkins School -Katie Joslin Darrell Johnson

Holiday Calendar

An updated 2021-2022 County Holiday Calendar was approved by Hopkins County Commissioners Court. Newsom noted that the county has always historically had 11 holidays, which they will continue to enjoy. The calendar has been adjusted, however, to incorporate Juneteenth. President Joe Biden signed into law on June 17, 2021, the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act passed by Congress.

June 19, Juneteenth as it’s become known, is the day in 1865 word reached Galveston that the Civil War had ended and that the Emancipation Proclamation issued 2 years before set the enslaved free. The day recognizes the end of slavery in the Unites States.

In 2022, Juneteenth falls on a Sunday, a day county offices are closed. Thus, Hopkins County will observed Juneteenth by designating Monday, June 20, 2022 as a county holiday.

County-Maintained Road Mileage

Hopkins County Commissioners Court

Newsom noted that county administrative staff and commissioners have worked hard for weeks, staying late many afternoons, to compose the County Road Inventory for Hopkins County-Maintained Road Mileage for certification funding through Texas Department of Transportation.

Precinct 1 Commissioner Mickey Barker express appreciation to Newsom’s administrative assistant Donna Goins for all that she does. The other commissioner too offered thanks to her for her work.

Newsom reported the county recorded 827.04 miles total: including 233.225 miles in Precinct 1, 219.91 miles in Precinct 2, 210.2 miles in Precinct 3 and 218.7 in Precinct 4. That’s an increase over time due to new roads, including for subdivisions and development.

Agreements

The Commissioners Court also approved an interlocal agreement between the county and Ark-Tex Council of Governments for E9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Point Services and PSAP equipment as well as a state case registry cooperative agreement between the Office of the Attorney General of Texas and the county for state case registry. Both are agreements that have to be renewed annually to continue the services.

Author: Faith Huffman

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