Commissioners ponder future of Law Library
By LPR Staff
The future of the Caldwell County Law Library is unclear.
A request posed to the Caldwell County Commissioners Court from representatives of both the Caldwell County District Attorney”s Office and the Caldwell County Bar Association could see the library closed to make space for conferencing areas and an office for the D
istrict Attorney”s staff.
“The way the District Courthouse is built makes it difficult for attorneys to talk to witnesses in private,” said Dick Wieland, representative of the Caldwell County Bar. “The space is crowded and there aren”t any conference rooms available for clients to talk to witnesses or clients.”
Wieland also claimed that the library, in its current state is somewhat obsolete, as most attorneys have access to legal research online. Further, Wieland brought a complaint that the supplemental materials for the printed books are not updated as frequently as they should be.
All told, subscriptions and printed materials cost Caldwell County more than $18,000, according to the figures Wieland presented. In addition, the county is responsible for the rental of the building, without any funding from the Bar Association or the City of Lockhart.
Assistant District Attorney Whitney Weideman also believes that better use can be made of the property.
“We could make conferencing space available, as well as have an office to ease some of the space pressures in the District Attorney”s Office,” he said. “The space would be available because if someone from our office was moved over there, someone would be there from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.”
While the Commissioners seemed to entertain the idea that the space could be otherwise occupied, a variety of concerns kept the Court from moving forward with plans for the space.
Among other concerns, no lease for the space was presented. Further, no concrete figures for potential savings were available, nor were plans for the maintenance, cleaning and upkeep of the building if it is no longer utilized as a law library.
The Commissioners asked that the Caldwell County Bar Association and the District Attorney”s Office put together a specific proposal before the County will consider any changes in the property”s use.
However, the space is available for lease. According to Wieland, the owner of the property is entertaining offers, but will likely be willing to wait until the County has come to a decision.
In other business, the Commissioners approved an expenditure of $1,075 to build a new flood gate on County Road 101. The cost for the flood gate, which Caldwell County shares with Hays County, will be shared between the two.
“We”ve redone the flood gate before,” said Unit Road Manager Bill Alexander. “[Kids] keep finding a way of tearing it up. It”s getting to be a hassle. This plan will take the flood gate fence-to-fence, and hopefully make it harder for them to tear up.”
In brief Court news:
The Commissioners accepted the non-profit status of the newly-created Delhi Volunteer Fire Department (VFD). The recognition of the VFD will allow the group to accept the funds that Caldwell County set aside for them during the budget process for the 2004-2005 Fiscal Year.
They approved four budget amendments, including changes providing for professional liability insurance for the district judge, a metal detector for the district courthouse, a position upgrade from corporal to sergeant within the dispatch department at the Sheriff”s Department, the purchase of a computer monitor, and a personnel change.
The Caldwell County Extension Office presented their activities for the month of December and announced the upcoming 4-H livestock shows, including the Lockhart Show in February.
Caldwell County 9-1-1 issued 36 addresses during the month of December and replaced 36 signs in December.
The County paid bills in the amount of $63,596.35, including $20,615.22 in indigent health care expenses.