By Chris Edwards
WOODVILLE – The Tyler County Commissioners Court met on Monday morning and got down to business, breezing through its agenda. Monday’s meeting, the governing body’s second of 2019, clocked in at 21 minutes, as County Judge Jacques Blanchette noted before it adjourned, which was one minute less than the last commissioners court meeting held on Jan. 14.
Several of the items on Monday’s agenda dealt with agreements between Tyler County and other counties within the region to house long-term adult and juvenile inmates.
Ernie Martin was present, representing the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office. Martin told the court that the price of housing long-term inmates in the San Jacinto County Jail has increased from $25 to $35 per inmate. Martin said that Tyler County has used the interlocal agreement with SJC to house on average of 10 people. Blanchette called the agreement a “valuable asset” to Tyler County and commissioners approved keeping the agreement in place.
Agreements between Tyler County and Angelina and Hardin counties were also approved by commissioners for the housing of juvenile offenders in long-term detention facilities.
The agreements are for one-year periods, and Blanchette noted that there were some particulars that need looking over with the assistance of counsel, but the deadlines for signing the agreements was pressing upon Terry Allen, the juvenile probation chief for the county.
After addressing the matter of the long-term juvenile offender detention situation, Blanchette informed the court of the intention to suspend the services of its legal counsel, David Brooks. Blanchette said the county’s needs are greater than what Brooks offers.
The commissioners approved the suspension of Brooks’ services and subsequently, on Blanchette’s recommendation, the action to engage the firm Allison, Bass and Magee to provide counsel to the commissioners court and local government officials on an as-needed basis.
Other items of business addressed by the commissioners court on Monday included:
• The accepting of withdrawal of LJA Engineering as project engineer for the fiscal year 2019-2020 Community Development Block Grant project for the county. The second in line for the project is Lufkin-based firm Goodwin-Lasiter-Strong, a firm that Blanchette noted is familiar with Tyler County from past projects.
• The approval for the sale of fireworks during the period of Feb. 25 through midnight of March 2 in celebration of Texas Independence Day was made. Ken Jobe, who served the county as emergency management coordinator prior to being elected Justice of the Peace, Pct. 2, was present and said there were no concerns pressing with fireworks during the period.