State Park pact on county agenda

Howard County commissioners are expected to sign off on an agreement to help pay maintenance and utility costs at Big Spring State Park when they meet at 10 a.m. Monday on the third floor of the county courthouse.The state park was caught in the wave of budget cuts coming out of Austin earlier this year and is in serious need of operating funds, officials said.In response, county and city officials have crafted an interlocal agreement in which the two entities will contribute $10,000 each to help keep the park up and running.“We actually came up with this agreement about two or three months ago,” County Judge Mark Barr said. “This money will help them take care of some of their maintenance and utility bills.”Salaries for state park personnel will still be paid by the state, Barr added.The state park, which has been a local fixture for decades, is a popular recreational stop for many local residents — including the county judge, himself.“It’s mostly used by local folks, like myself,” Barr said. “I walk up there four or five times a week. It’s used for recreation or exercise by a lot of people.”In other business Monday, commissioners will consider:• A request to place signage on county airport property.• Pipeline crossings and road maintenance issues.• Personnel matters.• Invoices and purchase requests.• Budget workshop for 2011-2012 fiscal year.Contact Staff Writer Steve Reagan at 263-7331 ext. 234 or by e-mail at