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Hopkins County Historical Commission And Appraisal District Board Members Reappointed

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The Commissioners Court also approved the reappointment of officers and members to Hopkins County Historical Commission as well as a representative for Hopkins County Appraisal District Board of Directors and other items.

Historical Commission

All selected indicated they are willing to serve on the County Historical Commission, according to the document listing members and officers which the Commissioners Court approved on Nov. 28.

Historical Commission officers were nominated to serve during a special meeting of Hopkins County Historical Society Board, called at the request of Texas State Historical Commission, with submissions submitted to the Commissioners Court for approval.

Historical Commission officers approved by the court included John Sellers, MC; Rick Wilson as president; Barbara Hudson as vice president; Paula Altenbaumer as secretary; and Carlie Penson as treasurer. The Historical Commission also includes Carolyn French, Bill Glover, Joyce Bateman, Micah McCarty and Major Willis as members for the 2023-2024 term; all are Historical Society Board members who were present along with Penson and Wilson at the special Nov. 19 HCHS meeting.

Appraisal District Board

Earlier this month, the Commissioners Court also approved a resolution reappointing Hopkins County Tax Assessor-Collector Debbie Pogue Mitchell to represent Hopkins County on Hopkins County Appraisal District Board of Directors.

As determined on Nov. 23, 1989, members of the Appraisal District Board serve “staggered terms. Mitchell has represented Hopkins County on the Appraisal Board for a number of years and agreed to serve one more term, which will begin Jan. 1, 2023 and end Dec 31, 2024.

Other Business

At the request of County Auditor Shannah Aulsbrook, no action was taken Nov. 28, 2022, on a proposed 7% cost of living increase to the county retirement plan. Aulsbrook explained there were numerous factors that should be factored into any decision on the matter, and that information is being compiles and is expected to be presented at the next Commissioners Court meeting.

Also during the Nov. 14 Court meeting, the Commissioners Court approved the lone bid submitted by Jay Hodge Chevrolet for two new 3/4-ton crew cab 4×4 pickup trucks for the sheriff’s office. The total price for the trucks was $99,179.36. A 2022 truck was quoted at $74,685.86 and was to be available this month, whereas a 2023 model quoted at $51,493.5 won’t be available until later. HCSO plans to trade in two vehicles, which Chief Deputy Tanner Crump noted are expected to cover all except about $20,000 per vehicle. The rest of the funding will come from the seizure fund.

The Commissioners Court approved a final plat for the Diosdado Addition in Precinct 4 at the court session held earlier in the month.

A resolution passed Nov. 14 by the Commissioners Court authorizes participation in a program that provides grant funding to “help pay for court appointed attorneys.” The Texas Indigent Defense Commission assists counties in implementation and improvement in indigent criminal defense cases. Indigent defense can be very costly to the county; while not necessarily covering all funds, the grant program does provide money to cover some of those expenses, according to the county judge.

The Commissioners Court also at that meeting also approved a resolution accepting a transfer case from a 1994 transfer case from Shreveport Fire Department for Hopkins County Fire Department’s Engine 220. The county unit has had a hard time finding the part which allows it to switch gears. The City of Shreveport had one in a scrap yard and agreed to donate it to the county for HCFD. The parts are interchangeable and should work on Engine 220 perfectly, Hopkins County Fire Marshal Andy Endsley noted. The County Attorney was working on the required document, which the court agreed to, so the fire department will have the needed item for the truck.

The Commissioners Court on Nov. 14 too approved a loan agreement with the State Energy Conservation Office and an agreement for lighting improvement services and LED lighting retrofit assessment conducted by E3 for the county jail, Civic Center and Adult Probation office. Jason Brinkley, E3 agent for the State Energy Office told the loan through the state group to convert the lighting in those county building to LED would pay for itself pay for itself in utility savings within 9-9.5 years, and the warranty on the lights would be for 15 years. The county would still be responsible for the loan payments for the length of the loan term. Retrofitting the three county facilities would be completion of the lighting conversion at all major county buildings where possible. Upon signing of the required documents, work was expected to begin within 6 weeks and would take approximately 1 month to complete.

Tom Glossup and E3 representative Jason Brinkley discuss a program to complete the county’s lighting conversion program by retrofitting 3 buildings with LED lights.

The Commissioners Court on Nov. 14 approved a resolution authorizing a grant from Texas Department of Agriculture Texans Feeding Texans program to Lamar County Human Resources, Inc., to provide home-delivered meals to homebound elderly and/or disabled individuals in parts of Hopkins County in 2023. Program rules require that the county in which an organization such as LCHS is providing home-delivered meal services to make a grant to the organization, so the group is eligible to receive the Department of Agriculture Texas Feeding Texans funding. The resolution certifies that Hopkins County has made a $10,000 grant to LCHS to be used from fall 2022 through the end of summer 2023 for the meal program; it also certifies that the Commissioners Court has approved the group’s accounting system or fiscal agent, which meets financial management system requirements established in the Texas Grant Management Standards per the state comptroller’s office.

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Author: Faith Huffman

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