JUDGE: A leap forward for Milam County
This week the Milam County Commissioners Court took historical action to go forward with the acquisition of the former Little River Hospital complex.
The county will trade nine buildings it owns in downtown Cameron for the 8.5-acre complex. There are three buildings on the campus with approximately 50,000 square feet of interior space. The appraised value of the downtown county buildings is $1,382,550 and the value of the campus is $1,709,020 for a net increase to the county of $326,470.
The county plans to consolidate its administrative services under one roof to provide efficiencies of service, one stop shopping and a reduction in maintenance and utility costs. The county will renovate the former hospital building of 35,000 square feet to house the County Clerk, the County Tax Assessor/Collector, the District Attorney’s office, the Veteran’s Assistance office, constables, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Adult Probation, Juvenile Probation, constables, Bea’s Kitchen, the HOP and others. The county has applied for a grant, which would pay for approximately 80 percent of the renovation, if awarded. However, if not the county will pay for the renovation without raising taxes.
The county will also renovate the former Professional Building for use as an urgent care/COVID-19 testing/medical facility. There is a clear need for urgent care and COVID testing in the county and the renovated building will be used in part for that purpose. The county has a tentative agreement with a private provider to operate the facility until 10 p.m. on weekdays. It will also be opened on both Saturday and Sunday. The renovation of the building will be paid for with a grant the county has already received and thus the renovation will be done at little or no cost to the county.
This is a giant leap for Milam County, especially during these trying times. This is the biggest single project the county has undertaken since the jail was constructed, many years ago. The Commissioners Court courageously took this action after over a year of careful study and deliberation. It is clear that this project will improve county services, save money and it will bring urgent care to the county for the first time in almost two years!