The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

January 29, 2013

Anderson County commissioners seek bids for jail roof

By CHERIL VERNON
Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — The Anderson County Commissioners Court voted to seek bids for an architect to design a new roof for the Anderson County Jail during its meeting Monday.

“We have major issues at the old jail — the roof has over 100 leaks and we have patched it up numerous times,” Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor said.

Taylor said major work was done on the jail’s existing flat roof in 2002, but the warranty has run out.

Anderson County Judge Robert Johnston encouraged commissioners to replace the current flat roof with possibly a new metal shed roof in the near future.

“We need to get it fixed right. We have too much invested in that building to let it go to waste,” Johnston said.

Also during the meeting, commissioners discussed whether or not to make its 2012 payments to Tyler Technologies due to ongoing problems related to the county software conversion.

At the July 23, 2012 commissioners’ court meeting, upon advice from Anderson County District Attorney Doug Lowe, the court voted to send a letter to the company stating that the county would deduct funds from maintenance payments and/or withhold payment until the issue is fixed.

Anderson County District Clerk Janice Staples reported at both the July 2012 meeting and at Monday’s meeting that her office, which processes paperwork for district judges and the sheriff’s office, has been unable to create reports for the Attorney General’s office that would reimburse several thousands of dollars in fees to the county.

“We are still having issues and are not getting any help from Tyler Technologies,” Staples said.

There are currently four payments received — with only one posted as of now, Staples said. Without help from Tyler Technologies, the payments will not post.

Though the company did provide a two-hour training session in October 2012, Staples said more help is needed for the district clerk office employees.

“They expect us to do it and we are just clerks and deputy clerks. We are not computer programmers,” Staples said.

Staples’ office has been attempting to do the reports by hand. Numerous trouble tickets have been sent to Tyler Technologies as well.

Anderson County Auditor Karin Smith reported that if the 2012 withheld payments to Tyler Technologies are not paid now, the county might have issues with the budget down the line.

Johnston voiced his continuing frustration on the issue.

“How do we fix the problem?” Johnston asked.

Smith suggested a return to regular meetings with Tyler Technologies to discuss the ongoing issues.

After discussion, the court voted to approve the 2012 payments to Tyler Technologies to avoid budget issues in the future.

“We have money allocated to pay it. We owe the money. The system works whether we can use it or not because many other counties do use it,” Johnston said.

Staples said many of the other counties that use Tyler Technologies’ software generally are bigger cities with large IT (information technology) departments that can help with the issues, while Anderson County does not.

In other business, the commissioners’ court:

• APPROVED minutes from previous meetings, reports from county officials, budget amendments and bills.

• APPROVED utility crossing county roads

• APPROVED Anderson County Cafeteria Plan, which includes the county employees’ health insurance, dental insurance and supplemental insurance policies from various vendors.

• APPROVED Resolution for the Sale of Property held by Elkhart ISD; Re: Tract 1: Being 9.379 Acres, block 1033, Tract 13A, part of the Joseph Kennedy Survey, Abstract AO456, as described in deed recorded in Volume 1555, Page 493, on instrument filed June 15, 1998, Anderson County, Texas and being further identified on the tax rolls and records of Elkhart Independent School District under Account Number R23068.

• APPROVED Resolution for the Sale of Property held by Elkhart ISD; Re: Tract 1: Being 0.17 acres, more or less, Tract 5, Block 981 in the Reuben Brown Survey, Abstract 13, as described in Warranty Deed with Vendor’s Lien recorded in Volume 1779, Page 392, on instrument filed April 7, 2003, Anderson County, Texas and being further identified on the tax rolls and records of the Elkhart ISD and the City of Elkhart ISD and the City of Elkhart under account number R11471.