The Commissioners Court met for their regular session on August 12, 2019,at 9 am at the Jasper County Commissioners Courtroom at the Jasper CountyCourthouse.
Judge Mark Allen welcomed those in attendance. Commissioner Precinct 2 RoyParker led the invocation.
The Court reviewed a resolution authorizing submission of CDBG DisasterRecovery Program Grant application to the Texas General Land Office for theHurricane Harvey dr-4332 Buyouts/Acquisition project. The grant could be as
much as $6,820,960 for infrastructure and/or buyouts but Lesley Waxman from
David J. Waxman, Inc. who is preparing the grant application said it’s
unclear what the Land office will allow the County to do with the money. If
the application is awarded, the Land Office will provide further
information for what the money can be used for and will require the County
to provide the program guidelines. The commission voted to adopt the
resolution to submit the application.
Jasper County Sheriff Mitchell Newman presented the monthly Jail Report.
The Sheriff’s Office charged Newton County $15,800, Sabine County $1,240,
Texas Department of Criminal Justice $2,360, and Tyler $7,840 for a total
of $27,240 to be paid into the Jasper County’s Prisoner Reimbursement Fund.
The Court approved the report.
Sheriff Newman requested that the Court authorize the transfer of a
military surplus vehicle from the Sheriff’s Office to the Roganville
Volunteer Fire Department. Jasper County Sheriff Officer Scotty Duncan said
the box truck and an MRAP were donated to the department by the government.
The department was unable to insure both vehicles, and the box truck is not
being used. The department offered the vehicle to the Emergency Corp, but
they were unable to store the vehicle. Duncan proposed the box truck be put
to use with Roganville Volunteer Fire Department. Judge Allen made a motion
to transfer the vehicle and title to Roganville. Chief Mike Smith thanked
the Court for the donation.
Next, the Court voted to accept the motion for civil and criminal monthly
reports from District Clerk Kathy Kent.
The Court heard from Jasper County Precinct 3 Constable Ronnie Hutchinson,
and Precinct 2 Constable Niles Nichols as the Court considered setting the
Sheriff and Constable Fees for 2020. Hutchinson explained the concerns the
Jasper County Constables face in performing writ of executions. He asked
the Court to consider the liability for the constable first, and Jasper
County next. Nichols pointed out that the constable are removing persons
and property, as the writ states. If they get sued, it comes back on Jasper
County. The Court voted to leave the Sheriff and Constable fees as they
were in 2019.
County Clerk Debbie Newman presented several items for the Court to
consider starting with the calendar for the November 5, 2019 election set
by the Texas Secretary of State for early voting at the Jasper County
Courthouse Annex. Early Voting will be from October 21 to November 1 from 8
am to 5 pm at the Courthouse Annex for the Constitutional Amendment.
Next, the Court approved Newman’s request to appoint committee members for
the 2020 County Election Board
She presented an Order of Special Election to be held on November 5, 2019,
the sale of mixed beverages including beer and wine in restaurants by
certificate holders only and Justice of the Peace Precinct #5. If the law
passes, the Tax Office will issue certificates to qualifying businesses. In
order to be considered on the ballot, 368 signatures were required. The
precinct turned in 403 certified names. The Court accepted the petition
signatures and order of a special election.
Newman also presented an Order of Special Election to be held November 5,
2019, to adopt the proposed Constitutional Amendments as submitted by the
86th Legislature, Regular Session, of the State of Texas for an Order for
Amendment election. The Court accepted for the petition signatures and, in
accordance with the law, order the special election be placed on the ballot.
Lastly, the Court approved contracts for election services for November 5,
2019 election with schools and other outside entities.
The Court approved a Regional Mutual Aid Agreement between Jasper County
and the 11 other counties with DETCOG for local disaster and civil
Jasper County Treasurer presented the Investment Policy for Jasper County.
The Court approved the policy for 2020.
The Court approved the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles annual optional
fees for 2020, which brings in a yearly revenue of $300,000. The Court
voted to stay at $10 per registration for 2020.
Precinct 4 Commissioner #4 requested and was approved by the Court to
transfer a surplus open-top container in precinct 4 to WC & ID #1 in Buna
The Court voted to adopt a resolution in support of H.R. 2220, the I-14
Expansion and Improvement Act of 2019. H.R. 2220 was introduced to the
House by Rep. Brian Babin. The bill, if passed, will open up several
highways, including Hwy 96 from Lumberton to Jasper.
Precinct Commissioner 1 Charles Shofner, Jr. requested approval to publish
bids on road and drainage improvement projects. The Court approved the
County Judge presented the proposed the fiscal year 2020 budget for review
and filing purposes.
The Court voted to keep the proposed tax rate the same as 2019, at .6591%.
The Court scheduled a public hearing on August 28 at 9 am, and September 9
at 9 am. The Court will also vote to adopt the 202o budget at the September
The Commissioners Court voted to amend the Jasper County’s policy on
longevity, adding two employees from the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office.
The Court set the expenses, salary and other allowances for elected and
precinct officers. Next, they conducted an FY2020 Budget Workshop. The
budget will include a fuel allowance increase for the 6 Justice of the
Peace for in-county travel.
The Commissioners renewed the Jasper County’s Disaster Declaration till
The Jasper County Treasurer presented the June and July financial reports.
The Court accepted the reports and voted to pay the bills for Jasper County.
Finally, the Court voted to approve the minutes of the previous meeting and