County, City grapple over tax office
By LPR Staff
For some time, the Caldwell County Commissioners have been working to gather bids and approve a project refacing, repainting and updating the exterior of the Caldwell County Tax Office on the corner of Market and Main Streets.
The project received final approval last month, and work began earlier this month. Almost immed
iately, the project hit a snag – the requirements of the City of Lockhart”s Historical Commission.
In a recent meeting with County Judge H.T. Wright and Commissioner Tom Bonn, the Historical Preservation Commission decided that several rows of black tiles, which line the sidewalk in front of the building, could not be removed or covered over. The construction bid called for removing the tiles and replacing them with fresh stucco, to match the rest of the building.
“All we”re trying to do is enhance the appearance of downtown Lockhart,” Wright said on Monday after announcing the Historical Preservation Commission”s decision. “And we”re scraping up money we don”t have to try to do it.”
Bonn added that, in his opinion, the tiles do not add to the appearance of the building, but that the Court did not want to increase the cost of the project.
District Attorney Chris Schneider has researched the issue on behalf of the Court, and determined that no clear-cut opinion exists to determine whether the County falls under the jurisdiction of a city ordinance in such a situation. However, Schneider suggested the Court appeal the decision to Lockhart”s City Council. The Commissioners unanimously agreed to do so.
In other Court business:
The Commissioners voted not to reinstate the outdoor burning ban. Days are becoming cooler, most of the county has received sufficient rain to reduce the threat of wildfires. However, Wright emphasized that if it became necessary to reinstate the ban before the Court”s next session, he would do so.
Jay Monkerud from the Juvenile Probation Office, who has for the last several months been overseeing the construction of a secure-storage facility in the old juvenile detention facility, announced that the secure-storage facility has been completed.
Monkerud reported that several county offices have begun moving their non-essential materials to the storage facility, located at 312 E. San Antonio St.
On Thursday, Oct. 20, Monkerud had planned an Open House beginning at 10 a.m. His idea was to give the public and county employees an opportunity to become familiar with the facility, as well as to recognize the organizations who volunteered their time and efforts to complete the project.
The County paid bills in the amount of $31,444.88, including $1,070 in indigent legal defense.