Sat September 19, 2020

By Dillan Kelsey

Hempstead County Quorum Court September Meeting
The Hempstead County Quorum Court met this week for their September meeting in the courthouse. The court was sure to follow COVID guidelines while meeting in person. The meeting was called to order and followed by the pledge of allegiance and invocation. While there was no items listed on the agenda, court members had a few topics to discuss. 

James Griffin mentioned the handbooks, saying that details need to be discussed soon while hoping to vote on it by next months meeting. Ed Darling spoke on the road department and adding around $740,000 into their fund. Talk of a bush hog was included in the conversation for $20,000 as well as chemicals equalling that much too. County Judge Jerry Crane stated that the placement of reflectors and painting stripes down Patmos Road needs to be put as a top priority. Spring Hill has been experiencing some changes lately, in front of Anderson Baptist Church, where the road department has lowered the top of a somewhat hazardous hill in the road making it safer for people taking that route. Darling mentioned adding funds back into the County Officials Budget at an amount of $40,000 and another $39,00 into the jail budget as well with an average of 71 inmates being held at once, according to Sheriff James Singleton. The court approved the increases of budgets and stated that an ordinance may be presented next month if it becomes a necessity. Talk of the location of the Extension office after the moving of the courthouse was brought up towards the end of the meeting. The court agreed that the extension office is part of the court house and that they should be able to use money from the tax increase to find a proper and suitable location for the office. Darling shared that the Hempstead County Farm Bureau building was available for consideration and has been appraised at $190,000 but was offered to the county for $150,000. Alongside that, the Hempstead County Abstract Building has also been offered to the county for $125,000 with an estimated amount of work that will need to be done at a cost of $30,000 to make it fit for an extension office. No action was taken on the matter, but it will be rediscussed in the future. Darling and Crane mentioned purchasing a county garbage truck being that the last one burned. 

The meeting was adjourned and they will meet again for their regular meeting next month.