Re-routing power lines on county agenda

Howard County commissioners will meet to discuss a number of routine items Monday morning, including re-routing of power lines at the county jail to make way for construction of the new joint law enforcement center and approval of a new economic development project.According to County Judge Mark Barr, there are some underground power lines at the existing county jail that will have to be relocated to make way for the joint law enforcement center, which is expected to move into its official construction phase Feb. 6.“It’s nothing major, it’s just a few lines that will have to be moved before we can start construction,” Barr said. “The cost of moving the lines has already been figured into the project, so it isn’t coming as a surprise or anything like that. We’re really excited about the project and looking forward to seeing it move into the construction phase next month.”Barr said the county will be handling the dirt work on the joint law enforcement project, just as it did with construction of the county jail a few years ago, which will help save valuable taxpayer dollars.“Being able to do the dirt work ourselves will certainly save us a little money, there’s no doubt about that,” Barr said. “If we don’t have any weather delays or problems with materials, we could see the project completed as early as six months. For the sake of the construction project we’re saying eight months, but we’re hopeful it could be as early as six months.”Also on the agenda Monday, the commissioners court is expected to give its approval for Big Spring Economic Development Corporation’s ongoing project to bring a Boyce Galvanizing facility to Howard County.According to Big Spring EDC Executive Director Terry Wegman, the local EDC has been working with Boyce Galvanizing since last November. The project is estimated at $5 million and will bring in between 30 and 40 jobs and produce an approximate $1.5 million dollar payroll.According to Barr, because the company will be located outside the city limits, the EDC must get approval from the commissioners court.“The commissioners must simply sign off on the project because the company will be located in the county. That’s my understanding of it,” Barr said. “I don’t see any problem with it.”Also Monday, County Auditor Jackie Olson will invoices, purchase requests, a review of financial statements and ask the court’s permission to go out on bids for sub-grade material trucking for the law enforcement center project.County Clerk Donna Wright is to discuss continuing education hours for county and district clerks for 2011, while Kent Minchew, adult probation director, is slated to discuss House Bill 3691 and Senate Bill 1055 of the 82nd Legislature.County Treasurer Teresa Thomas will present personnel considerations, while Road and Bridge Administrator Eddy Jameson will provide the court with pipeline crossings and a report on road maintenance in the county.The meeting will get under way at 10 a.m. in the commissioners courtroom, located on the third floor of the county courthouse. For more information, contact the county judge’s office at 432-264-2202.Contact Staff Writer Thomas Jenkins at 263-7331 ext. 232 or by e-mail at