County takes first step on scanners
Ector County Commissioners approved a proposal for Sciens Consulting to determine radio system assessment and selection Monday.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Dale Childers said this will be the first phase of updating the obsolete ARC 4000 radio system. The city has already made the switch to a new system, the Greater Austin Travis County Regional Radio System (GATRRS) master core, at a cost of almost $3 million. Local entities had been asked to join the city on the new switch and help chip in for maintenance costs.
“Bottom line is the rest of the region was on the ARC switch, which is about 17 counties,” Childers previously said. “The city told everybody on the system that they need to purchase their new switch and that everyone would have to pay to be on the city’s switch.”
The catch is that commissioners are not completely certain what costs would amount to considering the price that might come with needing to build additional towers and reprogram radios.
On Monday, Commissioners took the first step into figuring out what their options are moving forward, since they cannot stay on an outdated radio system.
Commissioners also passed items Monday that address issues such as the growing number of inmates that Ector County cannot support on its own and housing options amid the oil boom.
Commissioners added Yoakum and Garza County to the list of counties that receive funds for the care and housing of inmates. Sheriff Mike Griffis said that the agreement for McLennon County is for a renewal at a higher price. Current payments are already made to Hale, Hudspeth, Limestone, Lynn, Parker, Reagan, Scurry and Terry County at the cost of about $45 per inmate a day.
“We’re at a state where we have to be very careful not to go over our mandate,” Griffis said.
He said the state mandates that there must be one jailer for every 48 inmates, and with a 667 bed limit this means inmates have to be transferred to other facilities.
“We’re going to spend $2-2.5 million dollars outsourcing inmates, and we’ve been doing that for the past several years,” Ector County Auditor David Austin previously said.
The county commissioners previously approved an expansion to the jail to be paid for by a $25 million debt issuance, and it includes adding a 60,000 square foot building to the Ector County Law Enforcement Center with 412 beds.
Ector County Building Maintenance Director Charlie Pierce previously said the construction should be finished around October of 2019. By bringing the total number of beds the jail will have up to 1,019, Austin says the county could bring some inmates back in the county and pay employees rather than outsourcing costs. Austin said the next concern, after the expansion is complete, is staffing the jail with enough employees to meet the state mandate.
“It doesn’t matter how big our facility is if we don’t have jailers,” Childers said.
Childers said the commissioners hope that the 16 percent salary raises previously approved for law enforcement will help employ and retain the number of jailers needed. The raises will take effect when the 2019 fiscal year begins on Oct 1.
Commissioners also received numerous public works proposals for additional trailer-RV park developments, which Childers said approving seven or eight development requests at meetings is not atypical at this point. David Peck, the county’s projects manager, said the majority of developments are located in precinct 1 in West Odessa.
“Everybody is trying to take advantage of providing housing for the oilfield,” Peck said.
Peck said the limited number of houses available has created waiting lists that force people into finding interim housing options.
“Some of these workers are single guys coming in now, but once they bring a family hopefully they’ll find something better,” Peck said. “I wouldn’t want families living in RVs but I’ve seen them.”
Odessa Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Renee Earls said it will take many different projects to meet the housing demand.
“Overall goal is to find housing for workers,” Earls said. “Any solution at this point takes us one step further in trying to provide homes for those coming in to area.”
IN OTHER BUSINESS, COMMISSIONERS
>> Approved a Resolution for Safe Place of the Permian Basin and Crisis Center of West Texas recognizing the month of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
>> Received a presentation from Pink the Basin regarding Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
>> Recognized Michael Finnerty with the Ector County Sheriff’s Office for 30 years of dedication and service to Ector County.
>> Received a presentation from Texas A&M AgriLife to present Commissioner Eddy Shelton with a Commissioners Court Leadership Academy Certificate of Participation.
>> Tabled a public hearing regarding the District Clerk’s Records Archive Preservation and Restoration Plan for fiscal year 2018-2019.
>> Tabled approving the District Clerk’s Records Archive Preservation and Restoration Plan for fiscal year 2018-2019.
>> Approved the Sheriffs’ and Constables’ Fees for 2019.
>> Adopted Street Name Sign Background Color in compliance with the provisions outlines in the Texas Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices and approving implementation to be effective in 2018-2019 budget year at major roadways.
>> Accepted the insurance proceeds from Travelers – St. Paul and Marine in the amount of $32,669 per Total Loss Declaration by Travelers of Unit No. 1084 Sheriff’s Vehicle.
>> Approved termination on the present awarded company for the Abatement of Vehicles.
>> Approved part of the recommendations by the Insurance Committee for the Health Benefits Plan Document, and tabled the remainder of the recommendations.
>> Approved the Grant Renewal Application of the Ector County Title IV-E Legal Contract No. 24717373 with the Department for Family and Protective Services beginning Oct. 1, 2018 and ending Sept. 30 2025.
>> Approved the renewal of fiscal year 2019 Texas Vine Agreement beginning Sept. 1, 2018.
>> Approved the AIA Change Order No. 1 for the Roofing Project 2018 – Phase 1.
>> Approved the AIA Change Order No. 11 for the Jail Additions and Renovations Project.
>> Approved the modification of the Professional Engineering Services agreement for the TXDOT Project No. AP Odessa (TXDOT CSJ No. 1706ODESA), to approve a budget amendment to Airport Capital Improvement Fund, Grantee Contribution, 046-870-5398 from Unreserved Fund Balance, 046-3310 in the amount of $7,200.
>> Approved a contract with Dearborn National Life.
>> Approved a request to hire a Human Resource Clerk at Step 5 due to experience.
>> Approved a request to hire a Benefits Coordinator prior to the separation of the current employee and permission to hire up to a Step 5.
>> Approved a Proposed Ector County Camp 432 Properties Trailer-RV Park MHRC Development to Serve 403 W. 48th St. Odessa, Texas 79764 Ector County, Texas.
>> Approved a Proposed Horseshoe RV and Storage MHRC Development to Serve 16411 N. Horseshoe Drive, Gardendale, Texas 79758 Ector County, Texas.
>> Approved a Proposed Morning Star RV Park MHRC Development to Serve 11060 W. Westridge Drive, Odessa, Texas 79764 Ector County, Texas.
>> Approved a Proposed Hernandez MHRC Development to Serve 900 N. Navajo Avenue 2.0 acre tract out of a 3.03 acre tract in Lot 6, Block 28, Ocotillo Park, 4th Filing, Ector County, Texas.
>> Approved a Proposed Guevara MHRC Development to Serve N. Cynthia Drive 0.2900 acre tract located in Vanguard Subdivision, Block 2, SE 0.29 AC of Lot 3, Ector County, Texas.
>> Approved a Proposed Laughlin MHRC Development to Serve Lot 8, Block 22 Western Hills Subdivision The East 238.55 Acres of Section 18, Block 43, T-2-S, T&P RY. CO. Survey, Ector County, Texas.
>> Approved a Proposed Zachary Smith Addition being a Plat of a 30.53 acre tract located in Section 44, Block 43, T&P RR. CO. Survey, Ector County, Texas.
>> Approved a Proposed Ector County Muster Point RV Park MHRC Development to Serve 16112 W. 39th St. Odessa, Texas 79764 Ector County, Texas.
APPROVED THE FOLLOWING CONSENT AGENDA:
>> A line item transfer to General Fund, Sheriff, Subscriptions, 001-360-5207 from General Fund, Sheriff, Telephone, 001-360-5351 for $3,500.
>> A line item transfer/budget amendment form 001-5-030-51-61 Educational Travel in the amount of $300 to 001-5-030-5171 Office Supplies.
>> A proposed expenditure line item transfer to Airport Fund, Airport Runway Maintenance, 042-870-5249 from Special Department Equipment, 042-870-5507 for $5,000.
>> Approved a budget amendment to General Fund, District Attorney, Witness Travel & Expense, 001-120-5333 and to General Fund, State Reimburse Witness Travel, 001-4023 for $20,000.
>> Approved a budget amendment to General Fund, Library, Library Supplies, 001-690-5185 and to General Fund, donated Revenues, 001-4171 for $827.
>> Withdrew a budget amendment to the fiscal year 2019 Budget, General Fund, Parks, Contract Services, 001-660-5309 from Unreserved Fund Balance, 001-3310 in the amount of $2,270.
>> Approved the Accounts Payable Fund Requirements Report for Sept. 24, 2018 and to review County financial statements and reports.