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Section A: General News


County’s construction estimate pegged at $8.3M


County’s construction estimate pegged at $8.3M
This rendering depicts the west wing of the Wilson County Courthouse Annex III, which will be converted into a criminal justice center. Plans include a secure sally port and courtroom. The center also will house the 81st Judicial District Attorney’s Office.


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Wilson County News
May 15, 2013
2,560 views
15 comments

Cost would cover courthouse renovation; new library, justice center.

Wilson County Judge Marvin Quinney now estimates that the cost of a massive capital improvement campaign that includes renovations to the Wilson County Courthouse, a new county library, and a new criminal justice center will be $8.3 million. The judge said this during a May 6 special meeting of the Wilson County Commissioners Court.

The only item on the agenda for the evening meeting was a public hearing related to “courthouse annex I, II, III updates, comments, and questions.”

Quinney said funds for the project would be derived likely through selling bonds.

“Taxes will go up very little,” he said.

County Auditor Verna Gorzell projects that such a bond sale could result in an approximate increase of 2.4 cents to the interest and sinking -- debt service portion -- of the county’s ad valorem tax rate. Wilson County’s adopted tax rate for the 2013 fiscal year is 45.33 cents per $100 of assessed property value, of which 1.83 cents is devoted to debt service.

Wilson County Pct. 1 Commissioner Albert Gamez Jr. believes that the commissioners should seek voter approval before obligating the taxpayers to the debt, which would result in an annual repayment of approximately $586,000 for 20 years.

“When we first started, we were quoted $6.6 million,” he said. “Now it’s $8.3 million.”

Architect Lyndsay Thorn of San Antonio-based Thorn-Graves, who has been consulting for the county in its preparation to perform the work, said the first phase of the project would include renovation of the western wing of the Wilson County Courthouse Annex III -- the former Floresville Primary Campus in Floresville. The wing would become a criminal justice center, with a courtroom for the 81st and 218th district courts, offices for the 81st Judicial District Attorney’s Office, holding cells, and an enclosed sally port.

The second phase, Thorn said, would include stabilization and renovation of the Wilson County Courthouse, along with the north wing of Courthouse Annex III being converted to the new Sam Fore Jr. Wilson County Public Library. The current library, located near the corner of Third and D streets in Floresville, Quinney said, would be repurposed into the Wilson County Clerk’s Office.

Only a handful of those in attendance were not county employees or elected officials. Resident Jimmy King expressed concerns related to the cost of the project and what it would mean to taxpayers. With regard to the courthouse, King said, “It’s a money hole; that’s all it is. What do you need that building for?”

Quinney responded that with the county’s ongoing population growth, courtroom space is becoming a greater consideration. The former district courtroom in the courthouse would be renovated for use by the Wilson County Commissioners Court and for county court proceedings.

The judge said the overall project would take care of the county’s facilities needs for years to come, and that renovating current buildings comes at a fraction of the cost of building new ones.

Howard Berger said the new library has an estimated usable area of 15,000 square feet, which is a far cry from the current one that he said measures just 3,500 square feet. This, Berger said, puts the library at risk of losing its accreditation with the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, which would disqualify it from grant applications.

“Right now, we’re at about one-tenth of what the state requires for a county of our size,” he said.

In attendance: Wilson County Judge Marvin Quinney and commissioners Albert Gamez Jr., Paul Pfeil, Ricky Morales, and Larry Wiley; County Clerk Eva Martinez, County Treasurer Jan Hartl, County Auditor Verna Gorzell, Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr., County Judge’s Secretary Dawn Barnett, Library Director Nicki Stohr, County Attorney Daynah Fallwell, and District Clerk Deborah Bryan.

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Your Opinions and Comments

 
Just Wondering  
Poth, TX  
May 20, 2013 9:36pm
 
Amen to that Taylor. He is nothing but a bunch of lies and hot air.

 
Taylor  
floresville  
May 20, 2013 5:39pm
 
Mr. Pfeil is corrupt and is in hunt oils back pocket. Force him to admit what's gone on and before he finishes the first sentence hunt might pay $8.3 million to shut him up.

 
Glenn Quagmire  
Quahog, Rhode Island  
May 20, 2013 5:37pm
 
New Guy, I paid my money to be hear, so you don't tell me nothing. If the library is giving out Kindles, ain't somebody paying for it? Even I know ain't nothing free.

 
BSP  
Floresville  
May 20, 2013 3:38pm
 
.... Roads should be a priority. Especially over expanding the county's facilities. If you can't maintain our roads, how can you maintain more buildings, especially since you failed at maintaining the one you were in? ... ... More ›

 
New Guy  
Wilson County  
May 17, 2013 3:47pm
 
Glenn: You don't live in Wilson county so butt out. Let the library give out Kindles. My 86 old dad can use it anyone can, why continue to have paper books? Go electronic.

 
Glenn Quagmire  
Quahog, Rhode Island  
May 17, 2013 10:22am
 
Be careful, when is the last time you read a book? You live on the Internet. We need a library more than all the county people need raises and new trucks. Computer makes eyes hurt, gonna go read my story book now.

 
Be Careful  
Floresville, TX  
May 16, 2013 10:27pm
 
Well, I guess Sam Eagle we should stop building asphalt roads because they are too costly. As I have built roads and oversaw numerous construction projects, I think I know about costs. I am not sure what your six figures is ... More ›

 
Eric  
Floresville  
May 16, 2013 10:07pm
 
Why pay deputies more? there are more policeman than jobs, want to make money don't be a policeman. Its supply and demand we aren't communist's or socialist's yet.

 
Enough is Enough  
La Vernia  
May 16, 2013 2:20pm
 
How about giving our deputies more money! If you have this much money to buy a new courthouse and redo the other, there is money for them! This is ridiculous to get a new building when you just bought the building you are in ... More ›

 
Webmaster  
Floresville  
May 16, 2013 12:56pm
 
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