County eyes $1.5m project
By LPR Staff
As the calendar year winds to a close, the Caldwell County Commissioners Court is eyeing decisions about their financial future.
One of those decisions, according to County Auditor Sonny Rougeou, was the possible need of the Court to issue a notice of intention to purchase certificates of obligation for construction and equipment upgra
de projects under review by the County.
The need for quick action, Rougeou said, is spurred by the fact that laws regulate the amount of indebtedness a county can accrue in a given calendar year. Because the Court knows at this time they will need a certain amount, he suggested issuing notice and shopping for the certificates of obligation now, in case an emergency arises in the next calendar year that will require the county to purchase more indebtedness.
The certificates of obligation in the 2010 series are intended to pay for costs associated with maintenance of the Caldwell County Courthouse, and upgrades to the Caldwell County Judicial Center. Although complete bids have not been approved for those projects, Rougeou said the Court could issue notice of their intent to issue certificates “not to exceed” a certain amount. That way, he said, when the bid process is complete, they could issue the certificates for the amount they need, but had the option of borrowing less than advertised.
The projects, expected not to exceed a cost of $1.5 million, include cleaning and sealing of the stone façade of the Caldwell County Courthouse, as well as paint touch-ups to the exterior. The work is necessary, County Judge Ronnie Duesterheft said, to preserve the integrity of the Courthouse restoration project.
The other major project addressed in the certificate of obligation package is an extensive repair of the Caldwell County Judicial Center.
The facility, which was partially upgraded and remodeled in 2009, is still in need of considerable repairs to address structural issues, roof repairs and water seepage.
The Court agreed to move forward and advertise notice of their intent to purchase the certificates of obligation, with the expectation that the bid process will be complete and the final amount will be approved during their Dec. 20, 2010, meeting.
In other business:
At the urging of Emergency Management Coordinator Jim Parker, the Court opted not to enact an outdoor burning ban. Parker said weather and hydration conditions are still safe for outdoor burning, but encouraged residents to use caution when burning, particularly on clear and windy days.
They granted two variances allowing property owners to sell transfer ownership of portions already-platted property.
The Court appointed newly-elected County Judge Tom Bonn to serve on the Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG) Executive Committee and in the CAPCOG General Assembly from Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2011. They also addressed several questions about the county’s participation in CAPCOG. Commissioner Neto Madrigal later said he would speak to CAPCOG officials about attending a future meeting to explain CAPCOG’s organization and function to the public.
The County paid bills in the amount of $194,165.22, which included $6,426.46 in indigent legal defense fees.
The Caldwell County Commissioners’ Court meets on the second, third and fourth Monday of each month at 9 a.m. in Room 100 of the Caldwell County Courthouse. The meetings are open to the public and concerned individuals are encouraged to attend and participate.