Move to TxDOT property on hold

The year of January has finally ended. Black Creek metropolitan area recorded 1.3 inches of rain and I don’t think it froze. Maybe later on. The rush is over at the Tax Office and Mrs. Lutz is now covered up in things to do (poor Melissa)….now we gotta get ready to pay our Federal rent by April 15th.
Last week, we selected a Construction Manager At Risk and entered into contract negotiations for the Jail Expansion and Courthouse Annex projects. The projected cost of the construction is $10 million for the Jail and $12 million for the Annex. Nothing has been finalized yet and these are estimated figures not inclusive of the Reserve funds we are going to commit to this effort.
We would usually be preparing for our CR 664 paving project by now but, due to the Devine ISD showing an interest in purchasing the TxDOT property on SH 173 in January, we are at a standstill. We had begun preparations for the move back in November and held off on stockpiling the materials until we had secured the property and had ample space to put the base and paving rock. Bringing this material to our current yard on Zig Zag would mean moving it again once we had the TxDOT property. Now, if the school is still proceeding, we both submit sealed bids to the State (sometime in the next couple of weeks) with the higher bid being awarded the location.
I started looking at this location about mid 2018 when I found out that TxDOT was going to merge the Devine and Hondo offices in Hondo and sell the Devine location. Since it was originally a material yard with amenities that ideally suit this type of operation, I floated the idea to the other Commissioners and included the possibility of making this the County’s Central Shop. With positive support from the Judge and the other Commissioners, I dove into the possibility of acquiring this location (survey, environmental study, appraisal, etc) and selling our current site. We had begun preparing the building for renovations but, once the School expressed an interest, we have since stopped the effort.
In the meanwhile, we are gonna look at addressing some of the problems on CR 765. This is long overdue for attention and in fact, we have it on our reconstruction list for next year. (Oughta make Ruth Outlaw happy.) If we could keep the 18 wheelers from using it when the scale house is opened on 35, it might last a little longer.
See where the contractors have completed one side of the Burnt Boot Creek bridge renovations and are starting on the other. Sure looks nice. Haven’t spoken with them yet but, it seems they are back and preparing to put the finishing touches on 173 soon.
Don’t know what good it will do but, we passed a Resolution against Unfunded Mandates to be sent to the State. Usually these are read and trashed and the mandates keep coming. I’m sure the City and the School are very familiar with these. They’re about as welcome as Trump at Pelosi’s house (which has a wall around it).
Murdock is gonna be 90 soon…I jumped the gun and thought his birthday was last week….so, Happy Birthday Murdock. Oh, and Sandy will qualify for her Gold Card on Wednesday…now we can both get into Athletic events free…