Members of the Texas County Commission held meetings over the last three weeks, according to minutes released last week by the county clerk.
Members on July 1-2:
•Continue to study computer server needs and reviewed comments from elected officials on a revised employee handbook.
•Voted 2-1 to create a designated smoking area at the Texas County Administrative Center on Grand Avenue in downtown Houston. Commissioners John Casey and Doyle Heiney approved; Scott Long, presiding commissioner, dissented. The commission will have Lee Smith, maintenance director, work with an energy consulting firm to determine where smoke inside the building is coming from.
•Heard from Grennan Communications in West Plains concerning an upgraded telephone system.
•Held a closed session to review information regarding cybersecurity.
•Heard from several persons regarding Smith Road in Jackson Township.
•Discussed a civil action with an employee.
•Meet with Assessor Debbie James regarding adding an online service, a contract that would provide insurance for computers or servers and a glass partition for her office.
•Visited with Clinton Schwarz, emergency management director, regarding updates in his absence.
•Held a closed session with Tim and Hessy Bartman regarding a road matter. Present were the commission, county clerk, Sheriff Scott Lindsey and Chief Deputy Rowdy Douglas.
•Reviewed requests for federal monies sent to the state. Those funds were then distributed based on population to the counties. Texas County’s take is nearly $3 million.
•Studied paperwork from the State Tax Commission that shows an outstanding appeal from 2019 on a Mercy Clinic in the county.
•Reviewed correspondence on a class action lawsuit related to the opioid crisis in the country. Texas County is a plaintiff.
•Heard that the payment-in-lieu of taxes received for forest land property totaled $71,785.
•Heard from Mary Ellen Higashi of Lynch Township regarding SEMA and FEMA issues and a low water bridge that needs repairs that FEMA denied.
•Met with Sheriff Scott Lindsey on personnel matters — Sean Fogery was deemed not needed as a part-time cook on June 26. Cheryl Reeder was transferred to the dispatch center from a jail responsibility. Deputy Gregory Ryan has been deployed to active military duty for about nine months. Andrew Edwards recently graduated from a law enforcement academy and has transferred from assistant jail administrator to deputy sheriff to fill Ryan’s post while he is away. That was effective July 7. Brandon Barnes, a recent academy graduate, will remain assigned to jail and courts. Kyle Gross transferred from dispatch operator to assistant jail administrator on July 7.
•Removed $1,088 in personal property taxes because the owners were deceased.
•Heard from Marci Mosley, circuit clerk, about COVID-19 procedures for jury trials.
•Met with Jeff Malam of Pierce Township about grant funding.
•Acted on two Sunshine Law requests from the Batemans and their attorney, Brad Eidson.
•Met with CableAmerica concerning its phone system.
•Appointed Rick Wiseman as Lynch Township board member to fill a vacancy.
•Discovered correspondence from USA Radiology MGM Solutions and will meet with a SEMA representative concerning a flood study review.
•Met with Dr. Kim Hawk, Plato superintendent, to discuss needs that could be met with about $3 million received by the county for COVID-19 relief.
•Met with Sheriff Scott Lindsey and Chief Deputy Rowdy Douglas regarding inmate medical care proposals and also discussed several matters with Parke Stevens Jr., county prosecutor.
•Held discussions with Wes Murray, TCMH CEO, and Diane Beers, about the institution’s application for COVID-19 relief funds. Similar discussions also were held with Lorette Smith, Texas County Library director.
(Minutes for this report were released on July 28)