Blanco County Commissioners held a Regular Meeting on October 8, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. All four County Commissioners and Blanco County Judge Bill Guthrie were present and met in the Commissioners Courtroom of the Blanco County Courthouse, Johnson City, Texas.
Blanco County Clerk Karen Newman read the minutes from the Special Meeting of September 24, 2013. Blanco County Commissioner Chris Liesmann made a motion to accept the minutes as read, and County Commissioner Paul Granberg seconded. There was no discussion, and the minutes were approved by the Court.
The Commissioners were asked to consider authorization for the County Judge to sign the revised communications tower lease agreement with Waters Ranch Company, Inc. Judge Guthrie told the Commissioners, “This is a revision to the contract for the tower rental lease agreement. We have moved a lot of our things to the LCRA tower and so there is less on the original tower.” Commissioner Liesmann gave a motion for the Judge to sign the revised lease agreement and County Commissioner James Sultemeier seconded. Judge Guthrie called for discussion and there was none. The motion carried.
The Court was also asked to consider authorization for the County Judge to sign the letter agreement with Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG) for use of the Emergency Notification System. According to Judge Guthrie, “This continues as in previous years pertaining to use of the Emergency Notification System, and with the same fees.” A motion for authorization was provided by Commissioner Granberg and seconded by County Commissioner John Wood. There was no discussion, and the action was approved by the Court.
Judge Guthrie asked the County Commissioners what action they would take regarding the burn ban. Commissioner Liesmann answered, “No action.” County Commissioners Wood and Sultemeier also replied, “No action.” Therefore, there is no burn ban in effect in Blanco County.
Commissioner Liesmann addressed the Commissioners Court regarding the Operating Agreement for Western Counties VHF Trunking Radio System. Commissioner Liesmann told the Commissioners, “We have an agreement with Blanco, Llano, and Burnet Counties. We combine for payment of all bills for tower sites, and we pay our percentage based on our usage.” Commissioner Liesmann made a motion to authorize the County Judge to sign the Operating Agreement for Western Counties VHF Trunking Radio System, and Commissioner Sultemeier seconded the motion. No discussion followed, and the motion was approved by the Court.
Judge Guthrie told the Court, “The FY 2014 PSPA interlocal agreement with CAPCOG is the public safety answer point through the 911 system. We have entered into this agreement yearly for a long time…it is a yearly contract. I will be happy to answer any questions.” County Commissioner Sultemeier gave a motion to authorize the County Judge to sign the FY 2014 PSAP interlocal agreement with CAPCOG, and Commissioner Wood seconded. Judge Guthrie asked for discussion, and there was none. The motion carried.
The Court was asked to consider nominating the following individuals to the Blanco County Appraisal District Board: Shelton Coleman, Janice Fox, Will Shelton, David Behrends, and Lynn Boyd. Judge Guthrie told the Commissioners Court that Fox, Shelton, Behrends, and Boyd were currently serving and that Coleman would be added as a new member to take the seat vacated by Brenda Adair. Brenda Adair is moving from Blanco County and has tendered her resignation to the Board. Judge Guthrie said, “I recommend we appoint them to the Board.” A motion was given by Commissioner Granberg and seconded by Commissioner Liesmann. No discussion followed, and this action passed.
The Commissioners Court was asked to consider a resolution designating the County Judge as the Program Director and the County Treasurer as Financial Director for the 2014 Indigent Defense Grant Program. Judge Guthrie informed the Court, “This will be done the same as in the past. Camille Swift and I take care of this grant, and I ask that these appointments be made. I will be happy to answer any questions.” County Commissioner Wood presented a motion to designate the County Judge as Program Director and the County Treasurer as Financial Director for the 2014 Indigent Defense Grant Program. A second was given by Commissioner Sultemeier, no discussion followed, and the Court approved the motion.
The Commissioners Court was asked to approve the bond for the County Auditor. Judge Guthrie told the Commissioners, “The bond is here. I am asking for authority to approve.” Commissioner Liesmann made a motion for approval of the bond for the County Auditor. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Granberg. Judge Guthrie asked for discussion and there was none. The motion carried.
Blanco County Sheriff Bob Morgan addressed the Court regarding reinstating the interlocal agreement with Llano County for County Jail Functions. Sheriff Morgan introduced Sheriff Bill Blackburn of Llano County. Sheriff Morgan told the Commissioners that it will be a great hardship for Sheriff Blackburn and Llano if Blanco County cannot help him house his inmates. Sheriff Morgan added, “We can handle the inmates, it is not a problem. These prisoners are pretty well behaved, and I ask you to reinstate the contract.”
Sheriff Blackburn began, “We currently have 47 inmates, and eight are here. It is a great asset to have Blanco County help us with our backlog of prisoners. We seem to be housing more women than in the past. Your help and Sheriff Morgan’s help is greatly appreciated. In three to six months we should get our backlog down…the lake has contributed to our [prison] population.”
Judge Guthrie asked Sheriff Morgan if he would be able to handle the Llano inmates with the current staff, and Sheriff Morgan answered that it would not be an issue. Commissioner Sultemeier said, “Sheriff Morgan talked to me last week and was very pleased at the prospect of a three month agreement, and that we could go forth and reevaluate.” Llano County Sheriff Blackburn told the Court, “Burnet has lots of federal prisoners, and Comanche is a long way. We won’t send you our worst inmates with the worst medical and behavioral issues.”
Judge Guthrie informed the Commissioners Court he had talked to Llano County Judge and would suggest considering authorization for the County Judge to negotiate and extend the termination notice of the interlocal agreement with Llano County for jail functions. Judge Guthrie continued, “This gives me authority to extend the agreement for 60 days at a time. The term of 60 days at a time was recommended, and we will see how this goes and if more time is needed. This action would extend the term notice and take care of the issue because the contract ends on October 18th. Additional time may be added as needed.” Commissioner Granberg gave a motion to authorize the County Judge to negotiate and extend the termination notice of the interlocal agreement in 60 days increments with Llano County for jail functions, and this motion carried.
Elaine Cross asked if the County who sends the prisoners could be required to pick up those inmates who need medical attention. Judge Guthrie answered that the contract would need to be reevaluated and that the Sheriff can refuse to take a prisoner or ask for a prisoner to be picked up. He said, “I recommend we try to operate on our existing contract but we can revisit this if it is needed.” Blanco County Treasurer Swift also addressed Cross’s question and said that other counties do pay for the medical expenses of their own prisoners.
The Commissioners Court went on to approve the estimated October 2013 payroll in the amount of $253,029.43. Commissioner Granberg made a motion for payment of the October 2013 estimated payroll. Commissioner Granberg’s motion was seconded by Commissioner Sultemeier, and the action passed.
Judge Guthrie asked if all the official reports were in and he was told that they were. A motion to approve the official reports was given by Commissioner Wood and seconded by Commissioner Granberg. The motion carried.
The last item of the Regular Meeting was approval of the outstanding bills in the amount of $188,322. A motion for approval of the outstanding bills was presented by Commissioner Sultemeier, seconded by Commissioner Granberg, and the action was passed. At this time the Regular Meeting of the Commissioner’s Court ended. The Court held a brief recess and resumed to conduct a Special Workshop Meeting at 10:00 a.m. The Special Workshop Meeting adjourned at approximately 11:45 a.m. An article regarding the Special Workshop Meeting will appear in the October 16 issue of the Blanco County News.