Commissioners move forward with renovations to professional building
Milam County Commissioners voted 3-1 to take on additional debt to help repair and rebuild the old professional building on the Milam County Annex during a meeting on Monday.
They approved issuing up to $2 million in tax notes to assist with paying for repairs at the old professional building. Commissioner Henry Hubnik was the only opposing vote.
Incoming County Judge Bill Whitmire spoke to the court prior to the vote saying he was against taking on additional debt when there are other things in the county that need to be addressed.
“The question is are the renovations to the professional building a good use of our public funds,” Whitmire asked. “People are worried about the upcoming debt. At the end of last year we still had debt from the jail project. We have already taken out another $2.5 million to finish the Annex. Right now we just can’t really afford that. If we take this increase we increase that debt by another 30 percent or so.”
Whitmire said the project was supposed to cost about $2 million but when bids were opened the cost was northwards of $3 million.
“We have COVID money put back, but that money can be spent on a myriad of items,” he said. “We have up to December of 2026 to spend that money and we have needs in the county.”
He said the Health Department and WIC do need a new building but that should be a long-range planning need.
Milam County Judge Steve Young said the COVID money cannot be used for the schools or the sheriff.
“This has been a long-range planning project that has been going for a long time,” Young said. “We have had the asbestos removed and taken the walls down. We have had ArchiTexas develop plans for the project. All the departments have discussed what they need and they have made plans.”
He said if the county is going to renovate the building it needs to take on the debt.
“We have two revised bids,” he said. “I put in an extra $1 million in the loan to make sure there aren’t any overages and the next administration isn’t in the situation we were in.”
The best bid for the project can from Classic Bank.
Commissioners then opened bids for that work and then agreed to a contract with EBCO General Contractors. Hubnik was again opposed.
Commissioners also scheduled hearings on Dec. 27 regarding Milam 2 Solar, Rosebud Solar, Ben Milam Solar 3, Ben Milam Solar 6, Karol Solar, Two Rivers Energy Storage, and Adelite Energy Storage.
Each of the solar farms were approved, though Hubnik voted against each time.
Tax abatement agreement construction extensions were unanimously approved to post notice of public hearings with final action in December.
In other business commissioners also: approved the sick leave pool extension; approved the donation of a used truck to the City of Cameron; approved the sale of used equipment from Precinct 4; approved bids for materials; and approved Disaster Memorandums with Milam County school districts regarding disasters.