Johnson County Commissioners on Monday voted to approve projects to remodel a part of the county-owned building at 106 E. Kilpatrick St. in Cleburne that houses the administrative offices of Meals-on-Wheels of Johnson and Ellis Counties. The commissioners tabled the project during their Feb. 24 meeting because Meals-on-Wheels Executive Director Vinsen Faris was not at the meeting to explain the request.

Faris this week told commissioners that the building, first constructed as a clinic in the late 1950s, has served his agency well, but that MOW is running out of room.

“We’re falling over ourselves. We need more space really bad,” Faris said. He explained that Pecan Valley MHMR agency had previously shared the building with MOW, and that the space he had asked to have remodeled had been used as Pecan Valley’s telephone closet and IT room.

“With some minor work, we can have a functioning office and some much-needed space,” he said.

David Disheroon, the county’s director of public works, said the estimate on the remodeling project was about $6,900. Commissioners voted to spend “up to $7,000” on the project.

Commissioners also voted to rescind an agreement they approved at their Feb. 10 meeting to have Professional Services Industries Inc. survey Johnson County Corrections buildings Nos. 2 and 3 where roof leaks and condensation have created continuing problems that are getting worse.

PSI Inc. gave the county an estimate of $6,600 to do the survey.

But Precinct 3 Commissioner Jerry Stringer asked at the time for clarification on what the PSI bid included, and Purchasing Agent Kelli Davis said Monday that closer examination showed “that we weren’t comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges.” The PSI bid, she said, did not include some services the county needed.

After rescinding the agreement to go with PSI for the survey, commissioners voted to instead award the bid to Building Exterior Solutions LLC, which agreed to not only survey the problems at the two county jail buildings, but to also offer solutions.

In a third repair/remodeling-related vote, commissioners agreed to pay to have the floors in Room B15 at the Johnson County Courthouse, which is part of the County Clerk’s Office, replaced. 

Commissioners had agreed earlier to pay to have the room remodeled to better fit County Clerk Becky Williams’ needs. But Disheroon said Monday that no one had “realized how much it would cost to redo the floor” there, which was damaged when the office in the courthouse basement flooded.

Williams told the court she has saved about $20,000 in salaries because two positions in her office have been vacant since last June, and that she will likely eliminate those positions altogether, rather than hiring to fill them. The savings in salary, she said, adds up to about $20,000, more than enough to cover the costs of the repairs.


In other business

In other business Monday, commissioners:

zx Heard from Stringer that the county’s application for nearly $1.2 million in grant funds from the Texas Department of Transportation to repair roads has been submitted. Stringer said the application process went well, and that TxDOT has 30 days to make its decision.

zx Voted to extend the deadline to accept bids on the old county jail and other vacant county-owned properties in downtown Cleburne. Precinct 1 Commissioner Rick Bailey said that prospective buyers who had expressed a strong interest in the properties had backed out when commissioners voted against selling a nearby county-owned parking lot, too.

zx Approved a request by the Johnson County Republican Party to use the Guinn Justice Center from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on March 22 for the party’s county convention.

zx Approved proposals for TxDOT to install grade crossing active warning devices on County Road 319 in Alvarado, CR 316A in Cleburne, CR 1001 in Godley, CR 917 in Cresson and Whitney Road in Rio Vista.

zx Voted to ask for quotes on conducting a county-wide update of all job descriptions and a comprehensive salary survey for all Johnson County employment positions. Stringer said the update and survey are needed before the next budget process begins.

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