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Fannin County Commissioners Court discusses proposed justice center
By Allen Rich
Aug 4, 2022
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Fannin County, Texas -- All five members of Fannin County Commissioners Court were present for a regular meeting held Tuesday, August 2, 2022. The meeting opened with an invocation by Kevin Lane, pastor of Bois d'Arc Creek Cowboy Church, and pledges were led by Major James Manis (Ret.).

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Fannin County Commissioners Court approved minutes, with edits, from meetings held 07/26/2022 (S) - CR 2215, 07/26/2022 (S) - CR 3820, 07/12/2022 (S), 07/05/2022 (R), 06/28/2022 (R) and 06/24/2022 (S).

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The Office of Fannin County Clerk reported meney collected for June 2022: all courts - $14,982.16; land records - $45,336.75.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court approved a one-time severance of 1.642 acres from a 4.0135-acre tract on CR 4526 in Whitewright.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court approved the adoption of Hemby Way, Duvall Street, St. Largo Street and Fisher Street inside of the Lake Trail Estates on FM 273 in Bonham; approximately 15,300 feet.

Pct. 4 Commissioner Dean Lackey inspected the road and approved it.

"It looks like it will hold up a long time," stated Commissioner Lackey.

"How would the county benefit from adopting the road?" interjected Newt Cunningham, the Republican candidate for Fannin County Judge.

"If they build them to our specs, we maintain them," responded Lackey, adding that he feels the agreement benefits residents on the roads.

"It increases our expenses -- what do we get in return?"  Cunningham reiterated.

Pct. 2 Commissioner A.J. Self noted that the county handbook currently states that if a developer builds a road to county specifications, the county will accept responsibility to maintain the road after it passes inspection.

"I'm not accepting any roads in any subdivision," stated Pct. 3 Commissioner Jerry Magness.

"I feel the same way," echoed Pct. 1 Commissioner Edwina Lane, adding that the county doesn't have money to properly maintain all county roads now.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court approved a resolution stating Fannin County’s agreement to participate in TxDOT’s Bridge Replacement Program for three bridges: CR 4020 at Caney Creek, CR 2905 at Sloans Creek and CR 1202 at Tributary of Brushy Creek.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court tabled an agenda item calling for rerouting a section of CR 1605 in Precinct 1.

The county road was rerouted 5-7 years ago, but the change never came before commissioners court. The landowner has agreed to give county prescriptive easement. 

Jason Walker submitted a comment which pointed out that no petition regarding this subject had been posted at the courthouse as well as in the vicinity of this section of the road for at least 20 days, as required.

Mr. Walker also mentioned that he felt it set a bad precedent to have a road blocked and rerouted without acquiring a new survey and following protocol.

Mr. Cunningham suggested that commissioners court should "go through application process and get everything cleaned up."

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Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to approve a landscaping bid by 6k United Lawn Care And Tree Services, a local landscaping contractor based in Trenton, that submitted the lowest bid. 

Either party can cancel the contract with a 30-day notice.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to move $9,642.03 from 100-370-1310 (auto insurance loss in Sheriff’s office) to 100-560-4540 (R & M Auto).

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Fannin County Commissioners Court approved payment of bills.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to approve an agreement between Fannin County and Bonham Family Drug for the Fannin County Jail.

In addition to this agreement saving the county money, the local pharmacy has a history of outstanding reliability and offers daily delivery of prescriptions. 

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Fannin County Commissioners Court tabled an agenda item that called for approving a percentage-based fee to Eikon Consulting Group for Architectural Services at the future Fannin County Justice Center.

Former Brookshire's building in north Bonham

Brad Isbell, a spokesman for Eikon Consulting Group, said both buildings (former site of Brookshire's and WalMart) appear to be structurally sound and in good shape. He suggested renovating the former strip mall retail building initially and get it operational before beginning work on the former Brookshire's building. 

Commissioners Self and Lackey questioned spending $5.5 million to renovate the 12,000 sq.-ft. building that previously housed a strip mall, as opposed to demolishing the existing building and constructing a new row of modern county offices on the property.

Strip mall (left) with former Brookshire's building in the background.

Self suggested holding a workshop with Eikon at the site of the future justice center to discuss issues before possibly entering into a contract and the county judge concurred.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to set a public hearing on August 30, 2022 at 8:50 a.m. to hear comments regarding placing a No Parking sign on Amy Way in Precinct 4.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court passed on a bid for a used dump truck for Precinct 4; bid #2022-702.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to enter into executive session at 10:04 a.m. to deliberate the purchase, exchange, lease, or value of real property where deliberation in an open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the county’s interest with a third party – regarding county property and funding.

Commissioners court also held an executive session pursuant to business and financial issues in relation to contract(s) being negotiated where as an open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the position of the commissioners court in negotiations with a third person.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court reconvened for regular session at 12:03 p.m. to discuss action regarding deliberation relating to real property.

Deliberations pertained to county-owned property located one block east of the Bonham Square that had once been the site of the old county jail and old probation department.

"We are talking about what we are doing with that property," Judge Moore explained.

Commissioner Self made a motion that the county enter into negotiations with the City of Bonham regarding the property.

The motion passed unanimously. 

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Commissioners Court approved a change order for $57,091 relating to electrical contracts at the courthouse; the company had originally asked for approximately $100,000.

The money is already set aside in contingency as part of the courthouse restoration package.

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Judge Moore made a motion to give county employees a 5% raise, not including salary increases for precinct employees and sheriff's department employees.

The motion passed unanimously.

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Moore presented commissioners with copies of the 2022/2023 Proposed Budget for Fannin County. Workshops are set for August 11 at 9:00 a.m. and August 17 at 9:00 a.m., with additional workshops tentatively slated for August 31 and September 7, if needed.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to set a public hearing on August 23, 2022 at 8:45 a.m. to hear comments regarding the Fannin County proposed budget for 2022/2023.