Commissioners accept recommendation for one primary

By Robert Morales —

County Chairs Becky Brewster and Sheila Gilmore presented county commissioners at their regular meeting with a resolution and contract, which would allow for a joint Democratic and Republican Primary in March, and to consolidate Precinct 3 and 3-5.

Agrilife Extension Agent Lanie Koch gave the court an update on the numerous activities including water conservation and range management. Commissioners then moved to give County Clerk Linda McDonald final approval to purchase new equipment totaling $3,969 to be paid out of her Records Preservation Fund.

Auditor Mark Cabezuela then reported on the large number of workers' compensation claims that the county has experienced in 2013. Mr. Cabezuela said that eight claims had been filed and suggested that a risk management specialist should be consulted to prevent work injuries. Mr. Cabezuela also asked Commissioners to consider discontinuing internet and satellite TV services at the Emergency Management Command Center currently housed at the TxDot facilities because the center is not being used. Commissioners voted unanimously to discontinue the services and instructed Mr. Cabezuela to take inventory and move all equipment to the dispatch office which normally serves as the command center in emergencies.

Commissioners then voted to split the 1,831 votes among the five people that have been nominated to serve on the Culberson County Appraisal District Board, Angie Gonzalez, Lolo Urias, Paul Uranga, Robert Morales and Lisa Cottrell. The court also voted to appoint Gracie Alvarado, Norma

Carrasco, Carmen Garribay, Cornelio Garribay, Yolanda Urias, Carlos Urias, Martha Corrales, Jodi Corrales, Maggie Espinoza, Oscar Espinoza and Angie Gonzalez to the Child Welfare Board.

Commissioners enthusiastically voted to enter into a retainer agreement with Allison, Bass & Associates, LLP to procure administration of a County Energy Transportation Reinvestment Zone. According to County Judge Carlos Urias, Culberson County is eligible for more than $500,000 in TxDot grants to be used to repair county roads that have been damaged by the robust oil industry.

The Court unanimously approved outfitting all county trucks with emergency overhead lights, which would allow them to respond in emergencies when first responders' resources are taxed as they were in the last ice storm. Sheriff Carrillo offered light bars that were not being used by his department, which could be retrofitted to serve the purpose with minimal outlay.

The court then voted unanimously to adopt the Indigent Defense Grant Program Resolution, which according to Mr. Cabezuela, would save the county more than $5,000 per year.

Commissioners also voted to sell property to Alfredo Federico for $4,560, Maria De La Luz Seijas for $5,280 and Mario Balcazar for $2,020. Before adjourning, Judge Urias reported that Candelario Solis had officially retired from the county. Judge Urias also reported that the response to the first county Christmas dinner to be held in 24 years had been overwhelming and everyone was looking forward to the event.