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Jasper County Commissioners Court

The Jasper County Commissioners Court met on Monday, February 12th, 2024 in a Regular Session and covered the following agenda items:


First, the Court voted to authorize Jasper County’s departments to apply through the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission and the Governor’s Office for grant funding under their Criminal Justice grant program.  The Court noted that applications had been submitted by District Attorney Anne Pickle for Violence Against Women Act Special Prosecutor and Victim Assistance Coordinator grant funding, as well as Juvenile Probation for funding under the Juvenile Justice & Truancy Prevention grant.


The Juvenile Probation Department has successfully implemented a truancy program with the Buna Independent School District under a previous grant and hopes to expand to the Kirbyville CISD under this new round of funding.


Next, the Court voted to participate in the Statewide Emergency Radio Infrastructure grant program through the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission and the Governor’s Office to obtain up to $2 million in grant funding to improve communication infrastructure for emergency responders throughout Jasper County.  This will allow Jasper County to obtain upgraded dispatcher consoles, radio tower equipment and additional infrastructure needed to better equip law enforcement, EMS, emergency management and volunteer fire department agencies.


Following this, the Court voted to authorize County Judge Mark Allen to negotiate the acquisition of approximately twenty acres of land adjacent to the current Precinct 1 Commissioner dirt pit to construct a 440 feet tall radio communications tower in the northwestern section of Jasper County to improve emergency responder communications in that area of the county.


In other grant matters, the Court voted to amend the District Attorney’s Office budget to allocate an additional $13,000.00 to an Assistant Prosecutor’s salary utilizing Violence Against Women Act grant funding obtained through SETRPC and the Governor’s Office.


Concluding grant matters, at the request of the Sheriff, the Court voted to convert the Sheriff’s Office secretary position at the Buna Sub-Courthouse into a fulltime Deputy Sheriff law enforcement position utilizing a combination of the existing secretary salary and increasing it by approximately $26,000.00 with Texas Senate Bill 22 law enforcement grant funding, which will include a Deputy Sheriff salary, hazardous duty pay, holiday pay and other benefits associated with a law enforcement position.


Chief Scott Duncan was present and advised that there was a greater need for a law enforcement officer position than a secretary position that was requested by the Sheriff’s Office a couple of years ago, and that with the employee Karli Cherry obtaining her Peace Officer’s license a few months ago, it would be more beneficial for her to be employed in a law enforcement role, which would add another Deputy Sheriff to the their arsenal of officers.  Duncan also advised that Deputy Cherry will continue to provide Public Information Officer support for the Sheriff’s Office.


Chief Duncan then provided the monthly Jail report on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office, advising that Newton, Nacogdoches and Tyler Counties, along with the Jasper Police Department, had been invoiced a total of $21,105.00 for housing inmates in the month of January, 2024.


Concluding law enforcement business, the Court voted to authorize and accept a donation of $8,000.00 on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office from the inmate telephone communications company NCIC, which will be applied directly to a company that develops a specialized phone application to provide information regarding Sheriff’s Office press releases, inmate information and notifications to the general public.  Chief Duncan advised that the initial cost of the software application would be $16,000.00 for the first year due to software development and $8,000.00 each year afterward.


Next, the Court heard from County Treasurer Rene’ Ellis, who provided the monthly finance report and the annual renewal of the federally-mandated Affordable Care Act reporting and tracking contract with the Texas Association of Counties, who performs the service at no additional cost to Jasper County, which the Court approved.


Concluding business, the Court heard from District Clerk Rosa Norsworthy, who provided her monthly civil and criminal fee reports, which the Court also approved.


That covers it for this Court meeting.  Have a great week and as always, feel free to call if me if you need anything my way.


Mark Allen, County Judge

Jasper County, Texas


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