— By JUDY SHERIDAN
Parker County Commissioners authorized an additional 3 percent pay raise for deputy constables, approved a $5,000 change order for the Ric Williamson Memorial Highway interchange with I-20 and authorized a $26,000 settlement payment to a Fort Worth law firm related to the insurance coverage of a former county employee named Banks in court action Monday.
Precinct No. 1 Commissioner George Conley told the court that the county’s four deputy constables — one for each constable — had been left out of the 6 percent pay raise given to other deputies and proposed they receive a 3 percent raise in addition to the 3 percent raise all non-elected county employees received.
“I think they deserve the 6 percent myself,” he said. “Their job is just as dangerous as the patrol deputies.”
Conley told the court the total increase — as estimated by the auditor — was $3,709, including all payroll costs. Commissioners approved the motion 5-0, with the monies to come from program contingencies.
RWMH change order
Construction Manager David Payne, of Freese & Nichols, asked the court for $5,000 more to replace lime-treated subgrade with cement-treated subgrade for the I-20 interchange entrance and exit ramps, upping the interchange contract to $8,463,995.
“Due to the low PI (plasticity index) of that area — its high sand content in the existing subgrade — we’ve had to basically change to cement treatment from lime treatment,” he said. “If we didn’t do so, we would have had a failure in the subgrade.”
Payne reported that asphalt has been set on all the frontage road entrances and exits. He estimated it would take about a month to set the rebar and pour the concrete.
After a short executive session, commissioners approved a net settlement payment to Stephens, Anderson & Cummings, personal injury attorneys, for 15 percent of the gross amount of $171,645, with the balance to be returned to Parker County.
“We subrogated the claim for reimbursement of medical expenses paid by Parker County insurance,” County Attorney John Forrest, who negotiated the payment, said later. “We’re recovering our cost.”
PEBC, county insurers, initially paid $171,645 in medical claims for an individual covered by a former employee’s health insurance policy, Forrest said, adding that a recent personal injury settlement will most likely allow the county to recover all but 15 percent of the funds.
“If an injury is not county related, the county gets to put a lien against [a county-insured person’s] medical claims if he gets a recovery for his injuries,” he said. “He doesn’t get to recover medical expenses in addition to his personal injury claim.”
Forrest said the county was not involved in the personal injury litigation except for the purpose of recovering the medical expenses paid by PEBC. He said the agenda item was listed as Potential Litigation Banks vs. Parker County in the event that Stephens, Anderson & Cummings, which represents Banks, do not accept the net settlement payment that commissioners authorized.