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Commissioners Agree To Small Change In Pine Forest Solar I & Hybrid I Road Use Contract

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Purchase Of New Work Truck Approved For Precinct 3

Hopkins County Commissions Court on Monday approved the purchase of a new work truck for Precinct 3, a small change in Pine Forest Solar I and Pine Forest Hybrid I Road Use agreement, contract for sheriff’s and fire department training and equipment programs.

Road Use Amendment

The Commissioners Court on Aug. 23, 2021 agreed to allow at least 9 county roads to be used by Pine Forest Solar I, LLC, and Pine Forest Hybrid I, LLC, and “its successors and assigns,” during the planning and construction phases of its $252 million Solar Power and Energy Storage Project and Improvements, until the projects and improvements are completely abandoned, to access and leave power and energy storage project, encroachment into the county road right-of-ways, and for overhead and underground road crossings and with┬átransmission┬álines connecting the project and improvements to the electrical grid power system.

On Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, Precinct 3 Commissioner Wade Bartley explained that the developer amended the first list that he and Precinct 2 Commissioner Greg Anglin approved previously. The issue came in when the company used a map different from the one Bartley has been using since he’s been in office. Goggle showed the road name by a different number and the current map provided by Ark-Tex Council of Governments. The two road numbers in question are CR 3338 and CR 3334. Bartley said the amendment would change the road to the correct name.

“There are several roads that they are going to be using and upgrading and improving when construction starts. I move that we approve this amended resolution,” Bartley said.

Anglin seconded the motion, which then received unanimous approval of the Commissioners Court. Among the County Roads named in the agreements were County Roads 2346, 2310, 2336, 2333, 3340, 3344, 3351, 3334 and 3342.

Hopkins County Commissioners Court

Fire Department Agreement

Hopkins County Fire Marshal Andy Endsley asked the court to approving an agreement extending services with TargetSolutions Learning LLC, which is doing business as Vector Solution, to including an additional platform which the sheriff’s office will help pay for.

“This is an ongoing program we already, a platform for our training side which will also enable us to start checking our equipment off and having electronic files on this where we can pull it up when Texas Commission on Fire Protection comes to do our audits by-yearly. We also will be joining with the sheriff’s department where we will start taking care of their self contained breathing apparatuses they have located throughout their jail. We’ll start inventorying those and making sure they are maintained. They can access those records as well,” Endsley explained.

Hopkins County Fire Department and Sheriff’s Office would split the cost of the 50-50 for that program, Endsley noted.

The request was received unanimous approval from the Commissioners Court.

Truck Purchase

County Auditor Shannah Aulsbrook reported the county sought bids for a 1-ton crew cab 4×4 truck for Precinct 3. Information was sent out to all local companies. The county received only one bid. Jay Hodge Chevrolet bid $49,995 for a pickup without cruise control and $50,755 for a truck with cruise control. The delivery dates for the truck, however, is unknown.

Bartley said that’s due to current conditions in the industry. Knowing it could take up to 4 months or more, he asked the rest of the Commissioners Court to approve the bid, so it can be ordered, and come in as soon as possible instead of being further down the backorder list. He plans to use some grant funding for upkeep and equipment to purchase the 1-ton truck

“We are buying this truck with some of the money we got through grants to upgrade some of our equipment. I’m going to be replacing a service truck when I get this one in. So, that’s what the purpose is. It’s not like we just have to have it today, so we can wait on it,” Bartley said.

Precinct 1 Commissioner Mickey Barker seconded the motion, which received unanimous approval of the Commissioners Court.

Other Business

Mario Villarino

Hopkins County AgriLife Extension Agents Johanna Hicks and Mario Villarino gave an update on activities offered by or that the local Extension Office are involved in this year.

Villarino presented the Commissioners with a 2021 interpretation chart regarding agriculture and natural resources activities he’s been involved in recently, including hosting livestock and forage education curses, 4-H agriculture and livestock clinics and shows, and involvement in United Way and other community charitable activities.

Hicks too offered a legal paper highlighting the family and community health programs she and the extension volunteers have participated in during 2021. Some have included a four-county Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes course offered online; Cooking Well With Diabetes; Master Wellness Volunteer training; Better Living for Texans Fresh Start to a Healthier You, Healthy Snacking- Head Start Kids, a newsletter, 55-plus Health Fair, Marriage Education Workshop; Walk Across Texas, Walk & Talk and Walk Through Texas History; Dinner Tonight social media posts; Path to Plate during Ag in the Classroom; Kids Camp: Fun, Food, Fitness; and several other family and community health impacts.

The county Extension Agents plan to talk more about Extension’s reach and impacts in columns later this year.

The Commissioners Court also approved a reinvestment zone for a new solar farm, BT Solterro Solar, LLC, planned in the Saltillo area.

During the public forum portion of the Nov. 22, 2021, Commissioners Court meeting, Bill Pentak presented on behalf of Engie a $1,000 check to Sulphur Springs Senior Citizens Center Director Karon Weatherman to help feed senior citizens this Thanksgiving.

Author: Faith Huffman

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