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

emergency support.

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

motion.

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

meeting.

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

September 13.

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

adjourn.