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County Welcomes Deputy Assessor

By Randy Rutherford - Staff Writer | Jul 21, 2021


On July 13 at 9 a.m. the Tyler County Commission held their regularly scheduled meeting at the Courthouse in Middlebourne. Commissioners, Mike Smith and Lance Hickman were present and Commissioner Eric Vincent was present by phone. Following an opening prayer and Pledge of Allegiance, both led by Commissioner Mike Smith, the following approvals were given: Exonerations by Tyler Co Assessor Lisa Jackson, the Fiduciary Report by Tyler Co Clerk Neil A. Archer and the minutes from the June 22 meeting.

First up on the agenda was Tom Cooper, Office of Emergency Management, requesting a grant reimbursement for a 2019 Homeland Security grant, awarded to cover costs for an emergency response boat, medical supplies and training. Also, Tom needed approval for a letter to be written and sent to the state requesting a withdrawal of a mitigation grant to purchase new LED signs for Tyler Consolidated.

The school had already budgeted for the sign and therefore the grant is not needed. Commissioners approved the request.

Following Cooper was Elite Security represented by Bryce Barnes and Mark Penwell.

Mr. Penwell shared a Powerpoint presentation with the commissioners of the Safe Zone Security Camera designed to detect gunfire within any building. The technology can pin point the location of a shooter, detect the type of weapon used and notify within seconds a list of previously selected first responders alerting them a shot has been fired. Mark explained that active shooter incidents have increased substantially over the past 3 years. In the United States during 2019 there were 419 shootings. In 2020 there were 611 shootings, and the country is on track to double that number in 2021. Main factors for the rise in incidents were an increase in mental illness, more firearms being sold and more firearms being stolen. The plan is to place several monitors throughout any public building (schools, courthouse, etc.) to help prevent shootings and improve response time. Commissioners were interested in looking into the cameras and Elite will be providing costs. An estimate for cost to monitor the building is around $.30 per cubic foot of coverage.

Newly hired Deputy Assessor Chandra Lancaster was introduced to the commissioners by Assessor Lisa Jackson. Deputy Assessor Lancaster started her position on July 1st.

Commission President Mike Smith asked commissioners for approval to pay an invoice from Pioneer Masonry in the amount of $1,135. He also requested approval be granted for asbestos testing with WYK Associates for the courthouse. Also after seeking approval, Commissioner Smith, made the announcement the commission meeting scheduled on Tuesday, July 27 would be moving to Thursday, July 29th.

During public comment E-911 Director Josh Fulks reported that completion of construction for the E-911 building was set for the end of October 2021.

Following the approval of bills the meeting was adjourned. As reported earlier, the next scheduled meeting of the Tyler County Commissioners is set for Thursday, July 29 at 9 a.m. in the courthouse chambers.