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Last updateThu, 28 Aug 2014 1pm

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Commissioners table " IT" issue

BY PHILLIP WILLIAMS

GILMER--Upshur County Commissioners Court on Friday tabled considering proposals for information technology (computer) hardware and/or maintenance, and accepted bids on numerous items for the Road and Bridge Department.

The court opened proposals from five firms on IT support, maintenance and infrastructure, but voted to delay considering them until its next scheduled meeting Feb. 28. "What we're going to do is look through all these," said County Judge Dean Fowler.

With a few exceptions, the court also accepted bids recommended by county Road Administrator Andy Jordan on numerous items for his department, ranging from gasoline and diesel fuel to culverts and various types of pipe.

The court didn't yet act on bids for hot oil dirt and hot oil sand as Jordan had recommended against taking the lowest bid on those items.

He said the firm with the low bid, APAC Texas/Armor Materials, "has a hard time getting us material before 9:30 in the morning," and that if his workers are there at 7:30 a.m., "that's two hours wasted." This has happened, Jordan said, and he also said that firm requires ordering earlier than he can do.

He said he had complained to APAC "numerous times" (and he recommended bids from Wood County Asphalt). But Fowler then told Jordan he must allow the judge to write APAC a letter giving the firm a chance to appear before the court.

In other action Friday, the court approved District Clerk Carolyn Parrott's request to buy three scanners and licenses with funds from her office's Record Archives Fund.

Parrott said the items will be purchased from Tyler Technologies for $17,544. She said she had planned the purchase since 2009 to "help us get all our records scanned," and "we've finally got enough" money collected from filing fees to do it. 

The court also heard Sheriff Anthony Betterton explain his upgrading and replacing of duty weapons and ammunition for his office, which he said would involve "no expense to the taxpayers or the county."

Betterton said the 49 weapons in his office were purchased in 1997 and 1998 when his predecessor, R.D. (Buck) Cross, was sheriff, and that he is upgrading to Glock 9 weapons. Betterton stressed he was trying to leave "a paper trail" of this so there is "never a question" about it as "we can'f find the paper trail" on the weapons bought in the late 1990s.

He said a certain group was willing to buy the county's current ammunition, then give credit for that when his office buys updated ammunition through that group. 

Also Friday, the court accepted for recording numerous documents, including a check and explanation of funds from John M. Clark, Inc., related to the county's "school land" in West Texas. 

Fowler said the check was for a "service agreement" with Clark, and that it and the other recorded documents would be available for public inspection at the County Clerk's Office.

In other business Friday, commissioners:

--Approved paying Sydaptic, Inc. $672 from the Courthouse Security fund for a battery backup which was ordered from the jail control board.

--Approved the Gilmer Area Chamber of Commerce's request to hold its April 19 annual Easter Egg hunt on the courthouse lawn at 11 a.m.

Pct. 3 Commissioner Frank Berka noted during the meeting that with 67 percent of the current 2013-14 fiscal year remaining, the court has 72 percent of its budget unspent, so "we're on track" for a surplus, barring some "catastrophic" event such as expenses for more capital murder trials.