The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Local News

July 15, 2014

Anderson County Commissioners OK exterior repairs to county courthouse

PALESTINE — The century old Anderson County Courthouse will be getting a facelift this year, following approval by Commissioners to enter into an agreement with an architect to make repairs to the building during a regular meeting on Monday.

According to County Judge Robert Johnston, the exterior of the courthouse is in need of certain repairs to the exterior, with mortar falling from bricks, the loss of plaster from the walls and deteriorating wood surfaces.

“The courthouse is 100 years old this year,” the judge said, “and we need to do some work on it to keep it in good shape.”

Johnston recommended entering into an agreement with Burns Architecture, LLC, as they have experience in working with the Texas Historical Commission (THC) on maintaining buildings like the courthouse.

“It is going to be tedious work,” Johnston said, explaining that the county must stay in compliance with the THC when doing repairs and construction on historic buildings.

The agreement approved by Commissioners included a fee of $33,600. The project, which also includes painting the courthouse exterior “from top to bottom,” will take from three to four months to complete, the judge said.

Also on Monday, Commissioners:

• HEARD, in open forum, from Anderson County Sheriff's Office Investigators Bryan Chason and Ryan Tolliver about an issue regarding lost holiday pay. The issue will be formally addressed by commissioners in a future meeting.

• APPROVED minutes from the June 23 and June 30 meetings, budget amendments and bills.

• HEARD from Carmen Santone, owner of the local restaurant Switch, regarding a request to waive penalty/interest on the business' property tax bill due to financial hardship.

Commissioners did not approve the request as state law does not allow for such a waiver unless a mistake is made on the part of the county, appraisal district or other taxing entity.

• APPROVED an increase of 35 cents per parcel for property tax collections for other entities.

• APPROVED a memo of understanding with the GovDeals online auction site.

• APPROVED a County Information Resources Agency (CIRA) service agreement between Anderson

County and the Texas Association of Counties for web site services. CIRA has been providing web services to the county for the past two years.

• APPROVED declaring as surplus a Ford Crown Victoria belonging to the Precinct 2 Constable's Office.

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