Ector County Commissioners voted 2-1 to accept certain improvements to the Ector County Detention Center and the jail expansion, as well as send some suggested improvements out for bid before accepting them during the Commissioners’ Court meeting Monday.
County Judge Ron Eckert and Precinct 2 Commissioner Greg Simmons were absent from the meeting. Precinct 3 Commissioner Dale Childers said Eckert’s daughter was getting married and Simmons had two sons graduating from Baylor University.
Building Maintenance Director Charlie Pierce, JSA Architects President Cruz Castillo and Sheriff Mike Griffis presented the jail improvements to commissioners, calling them necessary improvements to the building’s life cycle to help the facility last another 25 years.
The improvements approved for contractor price by commissioners were a guard patrol system, now mandated by the State, surveillance cameras for the jail addition, new kitchen equipment, hinge doors for the jail cells, replacing boilers with tankless water heaters, flatwork for the sheriff’s office, campus exterior painting and caulking and hollow metal door and frame replacement.
Flatwork for the sheriff’s office would entail a concrete path in front of the sheriff’s office to carry water away from the building, as well as a large Texas star floor graphic for the expansion building.
Pierce said the hollow metal door and frame replacement was for the doors for the building’s plumbing, which are rusted out and have to be pried open.
Commissioners voted to go out for bids on a possible evidence processing and storage building for the detention center, and voted to have five other improvements be done by building maintenance under the cost of the $25 million bond. Those improvements are two new generators for the old jail and the sheriff’s office, the replacing of toilet fixtures in jail cells, site lighting improvements, and HVAC replacements to the old jail.
JSA Architects was told by commissioners to draw up a plan for the final item, renovations to the booking and intake room at the jail, which would then be sent out for bid. Griffis said these renovations were necessary to speed up the process and get more officers on the streets in a shorter amount of time.
“At times right now, we’ve got people in the booking area now for an hour because there’s so many people ahead of them,” Griffis said.
The total cost of the improvements contracted are $1,189,278.80 and the items budgeted to be done by maintenance have an estimated cost of $616,000. Both items sent out for bid have an combined budgeted cost of $588,500, but that cost will most likely change depending on the bid prices received by contractors. The evidence processing and storage building had a contractor bid price of $440,900 and the booking area renovations have not had a contractor bid yet.
Precinct 4 Commissioner Armando Rodriguez voted against the motion because he did not want to wait for bids to come back out of fear that the bids would come back higher than they are now.
“Everything is going up, I am afraid that it’s going to go up,” Rodriguez said on the bid prices.
The $18.9 million project, funded through public debt, first broke ground at the beginning of February, and is expected to be completed in about 20 months. There will also be additional costs, including $1,380,450 in professional services, the $142,700 bond issuance cost and other soft costs, such as advertising and travel expenses.
Included in the project is a new 60,000 square foot building, adding 412 beds to the jail. It will be a permanent structure designed to house even the highest security inmates.
The expansion is expected to cut down on inmate housing costs in other counties. Ector County currently has contracts with eight other counties to house Ector County inmates at a cost of about $8,000 a day.
Also during the meeting, commissioners approved the lease of a new software program that is expected to help the Highways and Streets Department address road rehabilitation and maintenance of existing features.
The program, OpenRoad ConceptStation, is an engineering design software which Highways and Streets Director Evans Kessey said would be able to do drafting and detailing, as opposed to the county engineering department’s AutoCAD program which only does drafting. The software will also be able to open files the Texas Department of Transportation shares with the county containing road plans based on Metropolitan Planning Organization meetings.
“It is really important that we are able to open such kinds of files to make sure they are meeting the requirement of what we need,” Kessey said.
The program will also allow for design work to be done in-house by the engineering department. Prior to this, Kessey said it was contracted to outside consultants.
Assistant County Auditor Randy Donner said the lease for the program would be an annual cost of $8,500.
IN OTHER BUSINESS, COMMISSIONERS:
- Approved a proposed resolution in support of declaring May 13, 2018 through May 19, 2018 as National Police Week and May 15 as Peace Officer’s Memorial Day.
- Approved a proposed resolution in support of declaring May as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month.
- Approved a request from Downtown Odessa, Inc. to use the Ector County Courthouse lawn for a children’s area for the annual Firecracker Fandango festival on Saturday, June 30, 2018.
- Tabled a request from Paul Reed, Commander of the Disabled American Veterans of the Permian Basin, to place a gumball machine and brochure holder in the tax office.
- Approved the Ector County Library’s Summer Reading Program Kickoff on May 31 and Musical Night at the Library on June 2.
- Approved a proposed $100 donation of in-store gift cards to the Ector County Library, in support of the Summer Reading Program.
- Received the 2017 Annual Report of the Ector County Health Department.
- Approved a proposed resolution amending authorized representatives, authorizing Maria Deanda to transact business with TexPool Participant Services, in her capacity as Chief Deputy of the Ector County Treasurer’s office.
- Approved a request to approve out-of-state travel for Highways & Streets Director and Department Coordinator to attend an iWorQ System Training and Seminar hosted by the iWorQ System from July 30 to Aug. 2, 2018 in Logan, Utah.
- Tabled a proposal to declare the Civil Air Patrol Building as surplus and sell it with sealed bids per Purchasing.
- Awarded a bid for the widening of 56th Street (Billy Hext Road to Faudree Road) to Reece Albert; approved the following budget amendment to capital improvement fund, road construction from unreserved fund balance in the amount of $731,864.
- Approved the proposed contract between the Department of State Health Services Vital Statistics Section and Ector County.
- Approved a proposed letter of agreement with Qunyhanh Ton, B.S., to provide services as the Pharmacist-in-Charge for the Ector County Health Department.
- Approved a request to hire a charge nurse at step 6.
- Approved a request to hire a secretary from a step 1 up to a step 5.
- Approved a request to hire a department coordinator at a step 9.
- Approved the proposed Aim Addition being a 1-acre tract located in Section 9, Block 13, T-2-S, T&P RR. Co. Survey.
- Approved the proposed Apache West Addition, Replat of Lot 6, Block 1.
- Approved the proposed Carlos Madric MHRC, 11639 Rick St., a 2.3-acre tract located in Knox Industrial Subdivision, Block 5, Lot 3.
- Approved the proposed Nunez Mobil Home Park MHRC, located within the south half of Lot 6, Block 1, Chaparral Addition, Second.
- Approved the proposed Carrasco MHRCC, on 4111 Lonnie Ave., a 1-acre tract located in Lonnie Subdivision, Block 1, Lot 3.
- Tabled the proposed sale of the property located in the Midway Country Estates Sub
division, Gardendale, for $40,500, which is less than the market value specified in the judgment of foreclosure against the property and is also less than the total amount of judgments against the property.
- Approved a proposed line item transfer to general fund, county auditor, education travel from other general expense in the amount of $900.
- Received the Ector County Investment Report for the quarter ending March 31, 2018.
- Received the Accounts Payable Funds Requirement Report for May 14, 2018.