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Commission Discusses Courthouse Concerns

By Staff | Apr 1, 2020

The Tyler County Commission met on March 24 to discuss several matters, including the response to the COVID-19 emergency.

The meeting began with the approval of the previous minutes, exonerations, and the fiduciary report. These approvals were followed by a funding request for $2,500 from Sharon Kesselring for the American Red Cross. The Commissioners reported they have never provided funding to the organization and the item did not receive a motion.

Lisa Jackson was next to address the Commission regarding the phones in the county offices. She reported an individual in her office was having issues with her handset holding a charge. Jackson said an employee from Frontier came to address the issue and Jackson was told the phones the county offices are using are obsolete and are not made anymore. She reported the wiring at the courthouse had been upgraded and new phones were cheaper than the previous ones were. The Commission moved to table the item to collect more information.

Following this, Stender requested to purchase nine beds and eighteen mattresses, a total of $3600.00, for the boys dorm at the County Camp.

Dave Barrik submitted a request to have a National Day of Prayer on the front lawn of the Courthouse. He requested this on May 7 at 12 p.m. The Commission approved the request pending the state shutdown.

The Commission then approved the County Office Budgets. “We want to thank everybody for all the detail, and everything they did, all the different offices. It’s a time consuming thing every year, but it has to be done, so we appreciate your hard effort,” said Commissioner Eric Vincent.

Next, the Commission reviewed and approved the Primary Election Officials, as well as a letter of support for the Lee Day Report Center.

Commissioner Mike Smith gave an update on the Tyler County Public Service District and the Tyler County Public Library. He said both are taking standard precautions by either cancelling the meetings or by having them via tele-conference.

He also suggested discussing a morale booster for the First Responders and those who cannot quarantine themselves in the face of the pandemic. “Such as the deputies, OEM, the ones that are still out there, like I said, they can’t go home. They still have to be in the face of the public putting themselves at risk to the virus. They can’t use limited staffing. They can’t isolate themselves,” said Smith.

Smith said he would like to start brainstorming things that the Commission could do to help boost their morale.

Jeff Davis, Treasurer of the Tyler County Board of Education, was present to request a resolution of a letter of support for the Building Commission to continue forward with the Stadium and Bus Garage projects. The resolution was quickly approved.

The Commission then approved the contracts for the construction of the Tyler County 911 Center as well as for renovations to the Courthouse.

The next item on the agenda was the Courthouse’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Concerns were raised by a courthouse employee that, although the Courthouse was only allowing restricted access, they were still coming into close contact with the public for often unnecessary reasons. Tom Cooper suggested putting a sign at the front door with a number for the individual to call to see if the matter could be taken care of without actually entering the building. The Commission agreed that this would be the most efficient way to filter out the unnecessary face to face contact.

Following the approval of budget revisions and bills, the meeting was adjourned.