An atypically strong gathering was in attendance at the Nolan County Commissioners' Court meeting on Monday morning, May 23 at the Nolan County Courthouse.
A group of concerned residents joined local Patricia Parker in discussing a concern with truck traffic on Forrest Drive, urging county officials to step into the matter as the road is not wide or safe enough for the trucks.
It was noted that all but two households affected by the situation have signed a petition on the matter. Citizens also reported that though pets have been lost as a result of the truck traffic, their goal is to eliminate the risk of losing lives.
As long as an alternate route was provided, the county could potentially close the road. However, different statutes hold the city and county to different legal standards. Should the residential road be closed, the county would no longer hold responsibility over the street.
Various claims were made during the discussion by other residents on the situation, such as truck drivers blatantly disobeying traffic signs as well as signs that have been vandalized and never replaced. In addition, citizens also reported that the traffic continues as early as 5:30 a.m. until 10:30-11 p.m.
The commissioners, while acknowledging the situation as "unfair", strongly stressed the fact that the county's hands are tied on the matter. No action could be taken on the issue as the agenda cited it as a discussion and not an action item.
However, suggestions were offered by the commissioners in an effort to ease the situation, such as establishing a weight limit on trucks (though it can be overruled by TxDOT), strict enforcement of a speed limit to be set after an engineering study, and placing speed limit and "children at play" signs on the road. Citizens were also urged to petition one of the involved companies.
Another discussion during the meeting was held in regards to the acknowledgment of Robert McReynolds in allowing CSCD to connect to electric service at the Nolan County Coliseum for their storage unit.
A spokesman on the matter — along with two other representatives — provided information to the commissioners. A container box which houses lawn mowers and other working tools has been deemed too dangerous in that it is too hot to keep the fueled equipment in storage. By setting up the electric service, a fan could be added to cool the unit.
Bids have been offered to set up the electricity and the entity will pay for the services, but the commissioners were asked to consider the establishment of a small budget in order to get bids for the equipment used for community service in the future.
A final presentation took place with Roy Orr on preliminary recommendations for construction on a new jail and law enforcement center. A representative with Orr presented a proposal packet to the commissioners explaining the possible services to be offered, even citing work done on the law enforcement facility in Lubbock County, who offered a letter of recommendation to the Nolan County commissioners.
Several action items were on the agenda for the meeting, including the approval of the County Depository pledge contract from Texas National Bank. The commissioners were presented with the contract and approved the form, which will be in effect starting June 1. The annual review of county investments were also approved by the commissioners.
A new appointment to the County-City Library Board was also approved for Letha Boston of Roscoe to fill the seat of a member who recently resigned. In addition, with the Texas Forest Service coming into town due to red flag warnings — as reported by Sweetwater Fire Chief Grant Madden, it was approved to keep the burn ban in place for the next two weeks.
The minutes from the meeting held on May 9 were approved, and a wide collection of reports were received from Nolan County department heads as well.
Two issues, however, were tabled by the commissioners at the meeting. The agenda listed the discussion of repairs to the Pioneer City/County Museum, but was put off in order to efficiently study what specific repairs are needed.
The other tabled item was a decision prompted by the discussion of allowing the public to use the Nolan County Courthouse grounds for community activities.
It was determined that legally, water and electricity cannot be provided by the county facility. The parking lot, however, is a different issue yet liability is a strong factor in the use of the courthouse grounds.
Should the parking lot be used, the suggestion was made for all involved outlets to be informed while a liability waiver policy is also in place. The issue was approved to be tabled in order to come up with a policy before finalizing a decision.