Local News
Fannin County Commissioners Court gives update on courthouse restoration
By Allen Rich
Nov 28, 2019
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Fannin County, Texas -- At a regular meeting Tuesday, November 26, 2019, Fannin County Commissioners Court continued to discuss the ongoing restoration of the 1888 courthouse, approved a resolution declaring Fannin County to be a Second Amendment Sanctuary County, discussed the formation of a Local Emergency Planning Committee, approve the Policy, Procedures and Best Practices Manual for Fannin County Veterans Service Officer, and discussed the upgrade of CR 3037 and CR 3038 by United Sand and Gravel.

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All five members of Fannin County Commissioners Court were present; the invocation and pledges were led by Rex Jackson of Boyd Baptist Church.

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Fannin County Judge Randy Moore introduced John Vick, District Director for Texas Senator Bob Hall.

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In public forum, two residents said that a resolution declaring Fannin County to be a Second Amendment Sanctuary County would basically be a reaffirmation of the oath of office.

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Commissioners approved minutes from a regular meeting November 19, 2019 and a special meeting November 15, 2019, but asked for corrections to be made to minutes from a regular meeting November 12, 2019.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court approved a resolution declaring Fannin County to be a Second Amendment Sanctuary County.

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Bonham Fire Chief Scott Ridling presented a truncated EMS Profit & Loss Report for October 2019; commissioners asked for the detailed monthly EMS Profit & Loss Report in the future.

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Commissioners approved the Policy, Procedures and Best Practices Manual for Fannin County Veterans Service Officer, as presented by Fannin County Veterans Service Officer Paul Chandler. Mr. Chandler called the manual a "living document' that reflects what he has learned from 2 1/2 years experience on the job.

"This is one of the things I have wanted to do since taking office," Chandler stated.

"We appreciate the job you do," remarked Judge Moore. "We feet our veterans are in good hands."

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Fannin County Commissioners Court received an update from Fannin County Auditor Alicia Whipple regarding courthouse restoration. Funds generated by the sale of bonds, grants, and interest from bond money adds up to $18,322, 542.77. To date, the county has spent approximately $2.25 million, but the county has committed approximately $17.7 million.

Phase one cost $1.25 million. Restoration of the exterior is estimated to cost $16.5 million. Interior restoration is estimated to cost $10.5 million. The contingency fund is $2.69 million.

When the numbers are crunched, the county is facing a deficit of $9.88 million to complete restoration.

Ms. Whipple and Fannin County Pct. 4 Commissioner Dean Lackey both voiced optimism that the estimated deficit can be lowered slightly.

Judge Moore noted that, during the presidential election in 2016 which generated an unusually high turnout, 63% of county voters were in favor of restoring the historic courthouse. Moore added that delays only add to the final cost of the project.

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Commissioners discussed the upgrade of County Road 3037 and County Road 3038 north of Ivanhoe, Texas by a third party. United Sand and Gravel wants to gravel and maintain the roads for a future sand plant.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to establish a state-mandated Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) to increase awareness of hazardous substances in the county or transiting the county and to formulate protocol in the event of an accident involving hazardous material.

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Commissioners voted to award a contract to Alpha Testing to perform Construction Materials Testing for the Fannin County Courthouse Restoration Project. Alpha Testing will scrutinize bonding agents such as mortar for an amount not to exceed $45,000.

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Commissioners passed on an agenda item calling for consideration and action to award the Stone and Masonry scope of work for the Fannin County Courthouse Restoration Project.

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Commissioners voted to award the catering of the Employee Awards Banquet to Windom Feed Sack, with entrées of chicken spaghetti and meat loaf.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court approved a one-time severance of 3.575 acres from a 26.32-acre tract on County Road 2909 in Dodd City.

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Commissioners voted to pay bills.

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In the segment of the meeting reserved for comments by commissioners and county judge, Pct. 1 Commissioner Gary Whitlock suggested spending as much time as possible with family during Thanksgiving and he reminded residents to check on the elderly and anyone else who mind need help.

Pct. 2 Commissioner A.J. Self and Pct. 3 Commissioner Jerry Magness thanked everyone for attending and wished everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Pct. 4 Commissioner Dean Lackey said CR 3700 was still closed, but could be open by the end of the week. Commissioner Lackey thanked residents for attending, wished everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and urged everyone to be careful and be safe.

Fannin County Judge Randy Moore told of getting overwhelming support for courthouse restoration from City of Bonham officials and local business leaders. Judge Moore gave an update on Lake Fannin and he recalled attending a chili cook-off where Tammy Rivers won first place. Moore remarked about the large crowd in Bonham for the parade. He also said that next week's regular meeting of Fannin County Commissioners Court would include an update on mitigation land at Riverby Ranch.