By JUDY SHERIDAN
In an effort to prevent further delays to the final construction phase of the Ric Williamson Memorial Highway, Parker County commissioners Monday authorized County Judge Mark Riley to sign off on documents related to the highway’s interchange with Interstate 20.
“We have some potential agreements coming up regarding utilities out there — one in particular that we’re working on,” Riley told the court.
“Once that comes in and the county attorney reviews it, and Freese and Nichols reviews it, I just need the authority to sign it, so we don’t get held up out there, because we’re pushing, and to wait two weeks (until the next court meeting) could delay the project.”
Riley assured commissioners that the county attorney would read the documents, and the auditor would review financial issues. He said commissioners would be informed when the documents are signed.
The county has been waiting on a particular utility agreement — which involves moving lines — for months, Riley said later, and representatives from Level 3, the company in charge, said they would be ready to close this week.
Riley said the court’s authorization Monday could also apply to TxDOT agreements involving the project, but said it did not give him more authority than normal.
“I’m not going to sign anything that obligates this county to something this court doesn’t approve of financially,” he said. “Never have, never will.”
The project was delayed 60 days at the onset, Riley said, because a resident requested a public hearing, which requires a number of steps.
“The delay has nothing to do with anything else,” he said.
In other action, the court:
• Authorized the judge to execute an agreement paying TxDOT a maximum fee of $4,000 to inspect and test construction materials needed for the Ric Williamson Memorial Highway’s interchange with Interstate 20.
The agreement stems from the interchange being part of a pass-through funding agreement with TxDOT, a representative from Freese & Nichols said.
• Awarded a contract for online auctioneering services to Ross Bandy Auctioneers instead of Lone Star Auctioneers, the company recommended by the county purchasing department because buyers’ premiums are two percent lower.
“I think the amount of the buyers’ premiums is insignificant,” Riley said, “and it doesn’t impact the county. What I’m concerned about is trying to do business locally, and the current auctioneer is local.”
• Authorized the purchasing department to advertise for bids for a new roof for the county annex and/or repairs to other county buildings.
• Accepted the annual financial report for Emergency Services District No. 3.