Palo Pinto County commissioners

Following the rejection of bids on Dec. 14, Palo Pinto County is rebidding the courthouse roof as a replacement-only project.

“We went out for bids and then rejected those bids at last commissioners court,” Palo Pinto County Judge Shane Long said at Monday’s regular meeting. “I don’t think we have any option but to go out for bids again.”

In the initial bids that came in, two were for repairing the courthouse roof, $50,701 and $58,815, and one was for replacement at $112,701.

“We all understood it was to repair or replace the roof and then when we came down to it, some gentleman was talking about replacing and then two gentlemen said repair, so we need to make sure on if we want to repair or we want to replace it, that way we don’t have this discussion again,” Precinct 4 Commissioner Jeff Fryer said.

At the Dec. 14 meeting, Long and Precinct 1 Commissioner Gary Glover felt repairing the 18-year-old roof wasn’t adequate.

“It’s been there 18 years and with the leaks in the treasurer’s office I just feel like there’s moisture underneath and if we put something on top of it, it’s just going to be trapped in there,” Glover said during the previous meeting.

The court unanimously approved rebidding the project.

“I’ve obviously stated that I’m much more comfortable with the replacement of it than the silicone spray over the top,” Long said.

Bids will be due to the county judge’s office by noon on Jan. 22. The bids are set to be open on Jan. 25 with awarding taking place on Feb. 8.

Following continued discussions about sponsoring a Community Development Block Grant for Lake Palo Pinto Area Water Supply Corporation, no action was taken once again Monday.

The corporation’s General Manager Chase Lerma came to the court in November requesting that the commissioners court sponsor the grant to improve water lines at Palo Pinto Lake following continued growth.

“We’re starting to see more people move that way and weekend summer homes becoming permanent homes so that has put more of a load on our system and smaller water lines are just getting to the point where they’re at their last connections with TCEQ requirements,” Lerma said at a previous meeting. “So we’re looking for sources to try to get some money in these grants where we don’t have to raise water rates — more than what’s needed.”

Long said he sees the value in the grants and knows the county will get more requests moving forward, but that they need some time to prepare.

“We have so much area that’s unincorporated and the only avenue for these organizations to get access to these grants are through the county,” he said Monday. “The bottom line is we don’t have someone to manage that and if the county takes that on, then we’re dumping that on the auditor’s office and the treasurer’s office. I think we’ve got some homework to do here in-house so we can be prepared and be in the position to do that.

“At this point, I’m very hesitant to approve this particular project. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t do it sometime in the future, but we need to get prepared for it.”

Another concern made was if the area being submitted for the grant would meet the low-income requirement, to which Lerma previously said his company would be conducting surveys to see if it qualifies. 

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