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Fannin County Commissioners Court gets COVID-19 update
By Allen Rich
Jan 7, 2021
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Fannin County, Texas -- All five members of Fannin County Commissioners Court were present for a regular meeting held Tuesday, January 5, 2021. The meeting opened with an invocation by Fannin County Clerk Tammy Biggar and pledges were led by Major James Manis (Ret.).

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Fannin County Judge Randy Moore introduced recently elected Pct. 1 Commissioner Edwina Lane.

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In public forum, Mark Pendergrass offered to give fire extinguisher demonstrations

Mollie Hayes, who addressed commissioners court in December, reiterated her request for a TxDOT-approved stop sign at the end of CR 2037 where it dead ends at CR 2038, and she asked for the speed limit on these county roads to be decreased to the lowest possible speed limit.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to extend by one week the Fannin County Declaration of Disaster Proclamation for Covid-19, as well as the Covid-19 Response and Continuity of Operations Plan for Fannin County.

As of Monday afternoon, January 4, 2021, Fannin County had logged a total of 1,605 confirmed cases and 276 probable cases, with an estimated 1,745 recoveries and 53 fatalities related to COVID-19. The county currently has an estimated 99 active cases.

The hospitalization rate in Trauma Service Area "E" -- which includes Collin, Cooke, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Erath, Fannin, Grayson, Hood, Hunt Johnson, Kaufman, Navarro, Palo Pinto, Parker, Rockwall, Somervell, Tarrant and Wise counties -- is 24.65%.

Judge Moore reminded residents that Texoma-area hospitals put out a plea that explained all local hospitals are operating at capacity and Emergency Departments are overflowing.

"TMC is full, TMC Bonham Hospital is full and Wilson N. Jones is full," Moore stated. "Their concern is, if someone needs a bed, we don't have one."

The public information statement from area hospitals noted that 40% of all patients in regional hospitals have COVID-19.

Moore also reminded residents of dates for upcoming free COVID-19 testing in Fannin County cities.

January 7-9 Trenton (Community Center) 9am - 5pm

Address: 203 N. Pearl St., Trenton, TX


January 11-13 Bonham (Multipurpose Complex) 9am - 5pm

Address: 700 FM 87, Bonham, TX 75418


January 21-23 Honey Grove (Behind the US Post Office) 9am - 5pm

Address: 100 E Main St, Honey Grove, TX 75446


January 25-26 Leonard (City Park) 9am - 5pm

Address: 601 E Locust St, Leonard, TX 75452

The county judge told how inoculations were being conducted in stages, with Phase 1A aimed at vaccinations for hospital staff, nursing homes and 911 responders, and Phase 1B for residents over 65.

"Really, we do not have that much vaccine yet," Judge Moore said.

He also reminded residents that vaccinations for COVID-19 are strictly voluntary.

Judge Moore predicted that TMC Bonham Hospital and Brookshire's should receive a limited supply of vaccine this week, so residents should call ahead to get their name on the list.

Moore told residents to beware of scams.

Fannin County Commissioners Court has been giving citizens the option of participating via Zoom or attending in person, but, with area hospitals at a critical point because of the pandemic, Fannin County Pct. 4 Commissioner Dean Lackey asked how commissioners court will be handled next week.

 "We all have to pitch in because this is going to get worse," Commissioner Lackey warned. 

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Judge Moore provided an update regarding restoration of the 1888 Fannin County Courthouse that included roof trusses going up on west side, stone repair for windows continuing and conduit being installed in stone walls on second and third floors.

The dedication ceremony for the restored historic courthouse is set for October 5, 2021, and a committee will plan the event.

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Commissioners voted to amend the approved time periods and pay dates for calendar year 2021.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court approved appointments to the Fannin County Historical Commission.

Tom Thornton and Larry Standlee will co-chair the commission and Mr. Standlee will continue to be the historical marker chair.

Additional members of Fannin County Historical Commission include Malinda Allison. Stacie Flood, Barbara Gore, Barbara McCutcheon, Mart Means, Audrey Rayford and Wanda Oliver.

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Commissioners voted, per Texas Government Code 2054.5191, to enroll Fannin County employees [whose job requirements include a minimum of 25% of their time being spent on computers] into Cybersecurity Training through the Texas Association of Counties.

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After considering feedback from county officials and the public, Fannin County Commissioners Court approved the final Courthouse floorplans and which county offices will be in the courthouse after restoration is complete

The ground floor of the restored courthouse will house county court at law with the court coordinator, court reporter, bailiff, two criminal clerks, JP 1 with two clerks and two probate clerks who work for the county clerk, but are involved with assisting the county court at law.

Complete floor plans have been placed on the county website.

When the proposed justice center is built, the design will include an additional courtroom that can be utilized by the county court at law in the future, if needed.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court held a very short discussion regarding personnel or supplies for COVID-19 from the CARES Act Grant or other funding. 

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Commissioners approved payment of bills.

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In the segment of the regular meeting reserved for comments by commissioners and the county judge, Pct. 1 Commissioner Edwina Lane said it was great to be there. Commissioner Lane is receiving input from county residents regarding a countywide speed limit on county roads.

"Obviously, it is an issue," remarked Lane.

Pct. 2 Commissioner A.J. Self welcomed Commissioner Lane to the court and said he was glad to have the courthouse floorplan complete.

Pct. 3 Commissioner Jerry Magness also welcomed Commissioner Lane to Fannin County Commissioners Court and added that commissioners court needs to consider what it can do to curb spread of COVID-19.

Pct. 4 Commissioner Dean Lackey also welcomed Commissioner Lane.

Commissioner Lackey thanked Fannin County Auditor Alicia Whipple and Fannin County Purchasing Agent Michelle Case for working diligently behind the scenes to draw down CARES Act funding for the county.

Lackey cautioned that hospitals are already full with COVID-19 and numbers are continuing to increase.

Fannin County Judge Randy Moore reminded of free COVID-19 testing dates.

Judge Moore complimented his administrative assistant, Lisa Loiselle, and other county officials for the outstanding job they are doing during a challenging period.

"Try to take as much stress off of those hospitals as you can," Judge Moore said in closing.