Johnson County commissioners discussed conditions at the sheriff’s office during their Monday meeting and addressed two streets prone to heavy truck traffic.
Commissioners also accepted bids on several foreclosed properties, all of which are in Cleburne.
Employees at the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office have run out of space and are basically on top of one another, Johnson County Facilities Manager Randy Wheeler said.
“We need to hire an architect because of the sprinkler and electrical out there to take a look at the administrative building to see what can be done,” Wheeler said.
The situation is such that a former storage room now offices three employees, Sheriff Adam King said, and the current training room is too small to meet practical needs.
“We’re not needing anything elaborate,” King said. “Basically the building we have with a couple of doors. The good news is we have space in the back of the building that could be renovated for office space and for some of our other needs.”
Commissioners authorized Purchasing Agent Ralph McBroom to advertise for requests for qualification from interested architects.
“My only concern is that on smaller projects like this when you involve architects you can get into major expense,” County Judge Roger Harmon said. “I’d sure like to see some local architects submit for this, someone who’s not weighted down with all the overhead of a big architectural firm.”
McBroom and Wheeler said local and/or smaller architectural businesses are welcome to apply.
Commissioners voted to decrease the speed limit on Percifield Trail from U.S. 67 to County Road 707 from 30 mph to 20 mph. They also voted to install No Thru Truck signs on CR 810 from U.S. 67 to Farm-to-Market Road 3136.
Both situations arose, Commissioner Larry Woolley said, because heavy trucks often use both roads to bypass the U.S. 67 and Interstate 35W intersection.
“Reducing the speed limit on Percifield was the suggestion of the residents and the sheriff’s office after they assessed the street,” Woolley said. “We considered installing a stop sign but the only intersection is so far north that it would have very little impact.”
Tinker Williams, a resident of CR 810 said the excess heavy truck traffic threatens the safety of the neighborhood and plays havoc with road conditions. Williams said she hopes commissioners will consider reducing the speed limit on CR 810 as well in the near future.
Commissioners stressed that trucks will still be allowed on CR 810 provided their destination in on that road and they are not simply passing through en route to somewhere else.
Commissioners accepted bids on seven Cleburne properties all of which were auctioned during delinquent tax foreclosure sales.
“These are some of the best bids we’ve seen in a long time,” Harmon said.
Proceeds from the sales will be divided between Johnson County, Cleburne and Cleburne ISD.
Commissioners noted that the city of Cleburne requires purchasers to construct new homes on the properties as opposed to leaving them vacant.
Commissioners, as did Cleburne city officials two weeks ago, commented that foreclosed lots in Cleburne and throughout the county that recently received few or no bids now tend to sell at or above appraised value. More evidence of the county’s growth spurt, they said.
Commissioners voted to pen a letter of support to Cleburne concerning a downtown property owned by Cleburne businessman Fernando Rodriguez.
The building, which the county formerly owned, sits adjacent a county owned parking lot. Decisions by the city and county allow a planned outdoor seating area Rodriguez plans to install to encroach into an alleyway. Doing so will not affect access to the parking lot.
Rodriguez said he plans to put a Mexican restaurant in the building with outdoor seating.
“You see places in Fort Worth and Burleson with outdoor seating,” Rodriguez said. “Which I think tends to attract people to a downtown area. It’s also that while we’ve seen a lot of new business and development in downtown that particular part of downtown has not seen as much and I’m hoping this will kick start new development in that area.”
Rodriguez, who owns a western wear and a boot store downtown joked that he wants to see Cleburne become Johnson County’s No. 1 destination for restaurants, and western wear.
How soon Rodriguez’ planned restaurant becomes reality remains to be determined. For now he’s leased the building to an antique store.