County Considers ‘Panic Buttons’


By LPR Staff

As a result of growing concern about violence in the County’s courtrooms, the Caldwell County Commissioners considered the purchase of several “panic buttons” on Monday.
The buttons, which will be installed in the District courtrooms, the District Clerk’s office, the Adult and Juvenile probation offices and the J

ustice of the Peace office, will allow the staff or judges to alert authorities immediately if problems erupt in the courtroom.
The system will cost around $15,000, which will be paid by the Capitol Area Council of Governments with the Homeland Security fund.
The only cost to the County for the system would be incurred if the commissioners decide, at a later date, that more buttons are necessary.
Two Commissioners, Neto Madrigal and Tom Bonn, attended a summit meeting to discuss State Highway 130 on Saturday. They reported that several of the county’s concerns were covered during the summit.
“I expressed the concern over the idea that our commuters will have to pay a toll,” Bonn said. “We were assured that there would be free, unimpeded access to Austin.”
Madrigal added that he felt the project too advanced to make many changes, but he encourages Caldwell County residents to make their feelings about the highway known.
Additionally, the Commissioners reported that the park rumored to be built near Plum Creek had been a topic of discussion.
“TxDOT will have to replace about 260 acres of wetlands and parklands,” Bonn said. “There has been discussion of doing that in Caldwell County.”
County Judge H.T. Wright said during the discussion that, although some people are concerned that SH-130 will run within less than a mile from Lockhart Junior High, it was not likely the plan could be changed.
“It’s going there because the city and the school asked for it to be there,” he said. “They wanted it there for economic development purposes, and the school board didn’t object.”
As construction of SH-130 progresses through Williamson and Travis Counties, Envision Central Texas will host additional summits and public forums to discuss the highway and its effects on the communities it will touch.
In brief Court news:
Caldwell County remains under an outdoor burning ban.
The Court heard reports regarding the County’s investment funds, the indigent healthcare program and the activities of the County Extension Agents.
The Commissioners designated regular term and scheduled meeting dates for this fiscal year. They will continue to meet on the second, third and fourth Mondays of each month.
The County paid bills in the amount of $63,952.79, which included $13,325.50 in indigent legal defense.


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