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Section A: General News


Wilson County awaits answer to $450K question


Wilson County awaits answer to $450K question
Architect Lyndsay Thorn of ThornGraves addresses the Wilson County Commissioners Court Feb. 10.


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Wilson County News
February 12, 2014
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Wilson County’s chances of obtaining an estimated $450,000 in Texas Historical Commission grant money to help stabilize the Wilson County Courthouse’s foundation are high. This is according to architect Lyndsay Thorn -- who has been advising the county when it comes to several proposed capital improvements -- during the Feb. 10 meeting of the Wilson County Commissioners Court.

Thorn said the county should have a definitive answer by the second week of April, meaning work on the 130-year-old building’s weakening foundation cannot begin yet. This is despite $8.5 million in certificates of obligation funds, earmarked for courthouse renovation and stabilization and other projects, becoming available later this month.

“It’s a hurry up and wait right now,” he said. “We’re waiting on the state.”

Also during the meeting, the commissioners voted unanimously to participate in the Texas Cooperative Liquid Assets Security System (CLASS) program. County Treasurer Jan Hartl recommended that the $8.5 million be invested with the program, which will ensure maximum liquidity of the funds. The money, she said, cannot be commingled with Wilson County’s general fund and must be accounted for separately.

According to Texas CLASS Regional Director Bill Moritz, the program manages approximately $9 billion in public funds. A third of the money is from Texas.

In other business, the commissioners approved the Wilson County Community Action Plan for 2014, for the purpose of identifying gaps in services and resources for those affected by criminal justice issues. Among the recommendations outlined by Assistant County Attorney Katherine Chapman:

•The juvenile probation program needs to provide more services geared toward substance abusers, after care, and family preservation.

•With regard to victim services, the county needs special-investigative staff and a more coordinated response to family violence.

•The county needs to allocate funds to better train deputies how to respond to an active shooter situation.

In attendance: Wilson County Judge Marvin Quinney and commissioners Albert Gamez Jr., Paul Pfeil, Ricky Morales, and Larry Wiley; Assistant County Attorney Katherine Chapman, County Clerk Eva Martinez, Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr., County Auditor Tom Dupnick, Treasurer Jan Hartl, Lisa Eberhardt of the Wilson County Auditor’s Office, Library Director Nicki Stohr, Emergency Management Coordinator LeAnn Hosek, Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Sara Canady, and John Holcombe of the county’s Information Technology department.

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