Agreement For D6, Contracts For Legal Research, Construction Of Trusty Housing Facility Approved

A 381 agreement was approved for D6, Inc., along with contracts for legal research resources and construction of a trusty housing facility, and other items this week.

381 Agreement

Hopkins County Commissioners Court at their regular meeting this week approved a 381 agreement for D6, Inc., providing a tax incentive for the company to relocate its corporate headquarters from Oregon to Sulphur Springs, Texas and expand their manufacturing presence in the state.

D6 Inc’s Sulphur Springs plant along East Industrial Drive

The business opened a Sulphur Springs plant at the end of 2020, in the facility known locally as the old Coca-Cola plant, with plans to expand within 18-months. D6 received tax incentives at that time for the expansion and addition to the facility at that time.

D6 is an advanced design-to-shelf packaging manufacturer, using recycled plastics, and when the pandemic began shifted to making face shields and masks. The latest project will expand the business’ manufacturing presence in the state, building the first fully closed-loop recycling site for single-use PET clamshells in Sulphur Springs, 

The business plans to add another 66,000 square feet to their holdings in Sulphur Springs with the move south of I-30 near the current location. The move was announced last October by Governor Greg Abbott, who noted the project is a $27 million capital investment to bring a “world-class recycling operation” that is expected to create 231 new jobs to town. A Texas Enterprise Fund grant of $1,432,200 has been extended to D6, and the company has been offered a $6,000 Veteran Created Job Bonus, Abbott announced Oct. 15, 2021.

“This is a big company and amazingly wants to settle in Sulphur Springs, which will bring some good jobs for our citizens,” Hopkins County Judge Robert Newsom said at the March 28, 2022 Commissioners Court meeting. “This is a successful business. We are excited to have them here.”

Trusty Housing Facility

The Commissioners Court also agreed to a contract with Sedalco for the construction of a new trusty housing facility on county-owned property just across from the current jail facility. County officials anticipate spending $4.5 million of the $7 million allocated to Hopkins County in American Rescue Plan funding to construct a building to house male inmates who have been designated as trusties, and as such go out into the community to work daily, including on precinct crews, at schools, the Civic Center and other locations.

The trusty facility would better segregate the inmate trusties from the general inmate population at Hopkins County jail when they return from their work details. The county officials contend the measure should help reduce potential spread of COVID or other infectious illnesses from trusties who are out in the public or working alongside those who are around others in public, where they could be potentially exposed to illnesses.

By doing so, the county would be meeting the “response to COVID pandemic for public health and the health of the general inmate population of the Hopkins County jail,” an allowable use under the ARP guidelines, county officials said.

Hopkins County Law Enforcement Center, located at 298 Rosemont St. in Sulphur Springs, houses the sheriff’s department as well as the county jail. A new trusty facility will soon be constructed on county-owned property just across from the current jail facility.

Legal Research

Newsom too presented Monday for court approval a three-year contract with Lexis Nexis for legal research. This provides online research resources – essentially an inexhaustible law library available at their fingertips – for judges and prosecutors to use in the course of business when hearing and trying local cases. The amount will increase incrementally over the three years of the contract. The local judges approved the request. The Commissioners Court also approved the contract as presented during Monday’s regular court meeting.

hopkins co courthouse
Hopkins County Courthouse, inside of which two courtrooms are located

Local Health Authority

The Commissioners Court also recognized Dr. I.L. Balkcom IV for 25 years service to Hopkins County as the Local Health Authority with a plaque. Hopkins County noted Balkcom’s move and establishment of operation in another county leaves an opening for a new Local Health Authority. Dr. Darrell Pierce was recommended for the job.

County Fire Marshal Andy Endsley said Pierce has agreed to fill the role, but that the process for that to happen was still in progress. He said if the Court approves of the recommendation, Pierce would be available April 11 to come to court to be sworn into the position. Pierce and Balkcom think a lot alike, which should make it easier for Pierce to step in and fill the role of LHA, Endlsey said. The term is a two-year appointment. The Commissioners Court members indicated they are in favor of appointing Pierce as LHA.

Land Division

Precinct 4 Commissioner Joe Price

Precinct 4 Commissioner Joe Price submitted for the record a letter from him concerning land division in Precinct 4. He explained that a man made a request regarding some vacant lots on State Highway 11 in Ridgeway that do not fall under the county’s subdivision rules, but was checking to see if that would meet county approval. The property would have a private road through it. In a letter, it was noted the county would not be taking over that stretch or roadway, but did ask that the road be constructed at least 60 feet wide to allow emergency vehicles to safely travel and turn around.

“Whether he does it or not, it’s not in our rules and regulations, but we did ask him to,” Price said, explaining that it’s not uncommon for someone to build, then ask the county to take over the roadway. Doing so is expensive. The person making the request, in the correspondence made it clear they county would never be asked to consider taking in the road unless it is brought up to or above county standards.

A motion to accept the request was made by Price, seconded by Anglin and approved by the Commissioners Court on March 28, 2022.

Other Business

Hopkins County Extension Agents Mario Villarino and Johanna Hicks distributed handouts to the Commissioners Court, then gave updates on many successful activities that have occurred this quarters, as well as upcoming activities the local Extension office will be involved with in the near future.

The Extension Agents noted Cumby ISD reached out to Extension regarding a possible partnership; the agents met with faculty to discuss the school’s Edu-Nation initiative. Como-Pickton also contacted the office to exhibit and provide giveaways during the school’s health fair. Villarino introduced another agent who will be partnering with the Hopkins County office in development of a program. They’ve worked with DFW area entities on an educational plan for water conservation.

Hopkins County AgriLife Extension Agent Johanna Hicks and Mario Villarino present updates to Hopkins County Commissioners Court at the March 28, 2022 court session.

The Commissioners Court for the record reported receiving written reports from the offices of the constables, District Clerk, AgriLife Extension, Homeland Security-Environmental, Homeland Security-Law Enforcement, the fire department, justices of the peace, sheriff, tax assessor/collector and treasurer.

A request from Spectrum/Charter to construct and place a meter base pole or ground mount meter base on County Road 3524 was approved, at the recommendation of Precinct 3 Commissioner Wade Bartley.

Author: Faith Huffman

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