Saturday, February 24th, 2018

County approves deputy cameras

Donley County Commissioners approved two purchases to benefit   the sheriff’s department during their regular meeting Monday.

At the request of Sheriff Butch Blackburn, the county approved spending $1,124 for a back-up radio system.

County Judge John Howard said the back-up radio will allow law enforcement to continue to communicate if the department’s primary radio goes down.

The commissioners’ court also gave approval to purchase body cameras for deputies at a cost of about $800. A special grant of funds from the justice of the peace office will pay for those. Judge Howard said the county outfitted its highway safety officer with a body camera last year through a grant, and it was determined to be beneficial enough to be worth having one for all deputies.

The amount of data recorded by the cameras will necessitate purchasing additional computer equipment for the sheriff’s office to store that information. Howard said the county is looking a way to obtain funds to help with that purchase or it may be included in the fiscal year 2018 budget.

In other county business, commissioners reviewed health insurance options through the Texas Association of Counties. The county received a $5,000 rebate from TAC, but maintaining the county’s current health plan would have brought an increase of 8.5 percent or about $30,000. Commissioners approved moving to a plan with a higher out of pocket expense for a premium increase of about five percent. Considering the rebate, the county’s health care expense will increase about 15,000 in the coming year.

The court considered and approved the Chapter 59 and Pre-Trial Diversion budgets for FY 2018 as presented by District Attorney Luke Inman and ADA Harley Caudle.

Commissioners set the first two weeks of August as the dates to clean up some illegal dumping sites with the work being funded by a grant of about $20,000.

The court also approved submitting a credit package to AEG Petroleum as an alternate to fuel purchases for county vehicles, approved making the clerk for the Pct. 1&2 Justice of the Peace a full time position, and turned down a proposal for a new postage meter presented by Pitney Bowes.

Under courthouse maintenance, it was reported that Randy Hughes of Mid-Continental Restoration visited Clarendon and recommended a Dutchman technique to reface spalling sandstones on the 1890 building. He will be submitting a proposal to the county in the near future.

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