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County Commissioners Honor Retiring Bailiff, Approve Budget
Thursday, August 11, 2011 • Posted August 11, 2011 • Updated August 11, 2011 11:40 AM

At its regular meeting on August 9, the Blanco County Commissioners Court honored retiring court bailiff, Harry M. “Mike” Durbin. “We have never come close to having an incident in one of our courts,” said County Attorney Dean Myane. “He handled things before they became incidents.”

One court worker declared, “I never had a fear of anything going wrong in that courtroom. Nobody knows the benefit of his services better than the court reporters. When he was there, we knew we would be safe and cared for.” Judge Guthrie congratulated Mr. Durbin for his 15 years of service. “He has done a great job. We have been blessed to have him. What he has done is what he has done throughout his life—he has quietly gone about taking care of business.”

Dean Myane and Connie Russell lavished praise on Mr. Durbin along with District Judge, Dan Mills, and others. Ms. Myane said, “He and I were able to establish a good working relationship from the time he volunteered his services in my office back in 1996.” Since that time, Mr. Durbin has served not only as court bailiff but also, among other things, as an investigator.

“Women, especially, have appreciated his kindness and consideration. His quiet dedication provided a real sense of security.” District Judge Mills thanked “Mike” for his friendship and for giving 150%. Mr. Durbin served in both the district and county courts. Mike’s wife, Katy, was also recognized along with her husband for “getting him out the door each day”. Her dedication and service was extolled along with his as he was presented with an engraved plaque. A reception was provided at the end of the session.

In other business, Commissioners extended the burn ban to September 13 as the drought and dry weather conditions continue unabated.

Commissioners approved the consolidation of voting precincts with one voting precinct in each commissioner precinct for the November 8, 2011, Constitutional Amendment election. Authorization was given to relocate the Pct. 302 polling location for Blanco County from the old Courthouse Annex at 200 N. Avenue G, Johnson City, to the Hoppe Room at the new Blanco County Annex located at 101 E. Cypress in Johnson City.

Commissioners authorized the County Sheriff to sign a food services contract with Sysco Corporation for the new Jail and Law Enforcement Center.

Christopher Voron’s appointment to the Blanco County Child Welfare and Family Advocacy Board was approved by the Court.

A public hearing was conducted in accordance with statute to review the site for an Emergency Communications Tower to be located at 862 RR 962 E. Pct 3, Blanco County to be known as the “Round Mountain Tower Site”. A public hearing was also conducted to review a site for a second Emergency Communications Tower to be known as “Church Tank Tower Site” located at 3944 US 281 S., Pct 4, Blanco County.

Fencing for the two sites was approved in the amount of $10,892.00 for the Round Mountain Tower Site and $4,052.00 for the Church Tank Tower Site. The discrepancy in the two figures is due to the fact that the Church Tank Tower Site is already partially fenced. The cost per foot is the same at the two sites. The monies are to be obtained from Homeland Security Grant Funds.

The building of equipment shelters at each of the two tower sites was approved to the tune of $20,598.00 each. The costs are also to be paid from Homeland Security Grant Funds. The same contractor will be used to build each of the two shelters.

Judge Guthrie commented that the City of Blanco “has worked real close with us on the Church Tank Tower Site which is greatly appreciated.”

County Attorney Dean Myane was authorized to execute a three (3) year contract with West Publishing for maintenance of the existing County Law Library in the amount of $9,804 per year. Judge Guthrie indicated that the present budget does not cover the total three year cost at present. Ms. Myane said that some of the needed funds are derived from Court costs. “We’re O.K. for the first year,” declared Judge Guthrie. “Next year, however, we may have to increase the law library budget.”

“We’re required by law to maintain certain books both for research and for prisoner access,” said the County Attorney. The costs of the new billing program will, in the long run, save the County money. The estimated cost of the current billing program over three years is $42,906.35. The cost of the new billing program is estimated at $30,907.11.

The County Judge was authorized to sign a contract with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services for the maintenance of the Blanco County Child Welfare and Family Advocacy Board. County Attorney Myane said “We deal with some real problems. The Board meets regularly to meet the needs of our community which includes fund raising, scholarships and etc.” Connie Russell, Secretary to the County Attorney, said that the Board works hand-in-hand with other agencies to provide children with such necessities as school supplies and clothing.

The County Judge was authorized to sign an interlocal agreement with CAPCOG for the enhanced 911 database program. “This changes the way funding is to be provided in the future,” said Judge Guthrie. “The program is to be taken over by CAPCOG in Austin. We will no longer be doing the addressing for the 911 services. A person moving in will fill out a form and will send it in to Austin. They will do the addresses and the mapping. This will affect four counties in our area.”

County Commissioners voted to approve the proposed County Budget for fiscal year 2011-2012. The voting was unanimous. All four Commissioners were present including Paul Granberg, Chris Liesmann, James Sultemeier and John Wood.

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