Citizen’s concerns on intersection highlights QC meeting

In light agenda, Justices approve two measures

By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
In a mostly quiet affair, the most vocal person at Thursday night’s Hempstead County Quorum Court meeting was a member of the audience, Sylvia Brown, who had more to say about the condition of county roads than the entire gallery of Justices in attendance.
Brown presented documentation, including photos, of an intersection in the county, which she identified as County Road 21, County Road 2, and West Avenue B.
“It has become a public safety issue; there is a real hazard there with the overgrowth, and visibility of pavement markings,” Brown said.
County Judge Haskell Morse, who has principal jurisdiction over the maintenance and repair of Hempstead County roads, said the area Brown described had been mowed prior to the Watermelon Festival.
With the Watermelon Festival, however, happening nearly seven weeks ago, the apparent time lapse in mowing at the location and subsequent growth appeared to be largely unacknowledged by either Morse or the Justices.
Brown also described inadequate visibility, and Morse did acknowledge that the county has no lighting on county roads.
Afterwards, Morse said, “We will take at look at the situation out there and address it.”
In other Quorum Court news from Thursday night:
• Morse announced a meeting with the Courthouse project architect next Thursday. Justice Cherry Stewart, also a member of the Courthouse committee, said that out of five architects that two were identified as finalists. Morse said that one finalist submitted a proposal that was $800,000 over the budgeted amount, which effectively eliminated that individual from the project.
Morse said, “You’ve got these architects working on $21 million projects and $30 million buildings; although its very big for us, our $1.5 million project isn’t going to get that much attention from them.”
• The Justices approved an ordinance designating Hempstead County as a “voting center” which permits any Hempstead registered voter to vote at any polling place within the county.
• The Justices also approved a transfer ordinance for $6,000, constituting a raise for the acting director of the 8th North Task Force, who is currently Captain Frank McJunkins of the Sheriff’s Department.
Prosecuting Attorney Christi McQueen said that the net amount of the funds was coming from the “Drug Control Fund,” so it was not costing the county itself any money.
In approving the measure, several Justices made a point of noting the work of the Task Force and recent arrests.

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