Renovation of the new Johnson County Precinct 1 facility remain on tap, Precinct 1 Commissioner Rick Bailey said, though they will now take place later rather than sooner.
Bailey and his fellow commissioners rejected all submitted bids to renovate one of the facility’s buildings during their Monday meeting.
The bids submitted, Bailey and County Purchasing Agent Ralph McBroom said, were simply higher than expected.
“We’re still going to get it done,” Bailey said after Monday’s meeting. “We’re just going to look at what we can possibly do in house and then probably address the rest in the next budget year. The time line really remains to be determined for now since we have ongoing projects to renovate the Burleson Sub-Courthouse and the sheriff’s office.
Bailey in 2017 tapped his precinct’s road and bridge fund to the tune of $158,000 to purchase the new Precinct 1 location on Farm-to-Market Road 1434.
The former Precinct 1 site, on FM 4 in Cleburne, encompassed about 3 acres. The new site is about 10.
The city of Cleburne purchased the former site last year for $375,000 and it now functions as a satellite location for the city’s public works department.
That former site had served as Precinct 1’s home for about 30 years, Bailey said, but had grown too small for precinct and county needs because of county growth.
One on the buildings at the new site has been renovated and Precinct 1 offices have since taken up roost there.
Plans call for renovating the other building to serve other county needs as needed.
“I’m looking at moving the Precinct 1 Constable’s Office out there and hoping that AMR will stage one of their ambulances out there eventually to better cover response times to that area of the county. Then in the future other offices like the sheriff’s office who might want to use space out there.”
Job well done
Commissioners recognized nine employees for their years of service, which range from five to 20 years.
Those receiving 20-year service pins included Renee Hall, 18th District Court court reporter; Edward Kesinger, Johnson County Adult Probation senior probation officer; and Dusty Ford, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Deputy.
Ford works as a school resource officer for Godley ISD having previously filled various other roles during his time with JCSO, Sheriff Adam King said.
“Dusty’s had a lot of experience, which has been a blessing,” King said. “Usually if there’s a problem Dusty is usually on it or fixed it by the time it’s realized, which makes my job easier.”
Receiving pins for 10 years of service were Sgt. Damien Bethell and JCSO warrant clerk Cathy Stevens.
County Judge Roger Harmon noted that Bethell oversees security of the Guinn Justice Center, home of the county’s district and other courts.
Haley Richards and Brittany Bailey, both of JCSO dispatch, received pins for five years of service as did Johnson County Assistant County Attorney Christopher Boedecker and Audit Department accountant Barbara Huneidi.
King commended Richards and Bailey for their hard work under difficult circumstances.
“Sorry guys,” King said looking at the deputies and law enforcement officers in the room. “But dispatch is the hardest job in criminal justice. You’re in a dark room with no windows. The job is highly technical and highly stressful. You have people yelling at you on the phone and it’s a job where you have to be perfect all the time because if you’re not, people get hurt.”
In other news:
• Commissioners accepted a donation of historic newspapers from resident Sandra Neeley for display in the Johnson County Courthouse Museum.
• Harmon drew names from the grand jury rolls to fill spots on the county’s ad hoc salary grievance committee. A mix of county officials and residents make up the board. Local government code requires the commissioners court to appoint a grievance committee board each year.