County moves forward with renovations, sets feral hog bounty
Milam County Commissioners heard an update on the renovations to the old hospital building, took on feral hogs in the county, and set plans for the November election during a meeting on Aug. 24.
Commissioners heard several updates related to the renovation of the old hospital building and professional building to be used as county offices and an urgent care facility.
Milam County Judge Steve Young said renovations to the professional building should start soon. They are currently working to get asbestos abatement work done.
“We are working to get that fixed and out before we can start other construction,” Young said. “That takes 10 days. Then they will fix the roof and get started on the inside.”
He said Stan Graves with ArchiTexas has the plans drawn up for the urgent care part of the building and they are ready to move forward.
The renovation to the professional building will be paid for with funds provided by the CARES Act from the county as well as some funds from the portion provided to Cameron and Buckholts.
Once complete, Danielle Janicek will open a COVID-19 testing center and urgent care facility. The project must be completed by the end of the year to receive the CARES Act funds.
“As far as the annex goes,” Young said. “The original plan was to borrow money on a seven-year note. After the COVID thing comes along there is now an infrastructure grant through the Economic Development Association. We got that grant submitted. We will hear results on Friday after the grant hearing. There will be some indication of what is going to happen.”
He said the county will still have to come up with a match for that grant funding and the county’s portion would be $1 million.
“We have tentatively worked out with them to do the parking lots,” he said. “We have looked at them and they look like that is something the county can do ourselves. That would be a $250,000 project that we can do and will take our portion down. If we get the grant we would put up solar panels. That would be enough to power the whole building. They will build covered parking in the back and the panels would be on top of the parking. That would cost $406,000. We would make an agreement with those folks for a lease/purchase. If that were to work out that would bring us to $650,000 then we would have to have about $300,000, which we can do.”
He said the county is very hopeful that the grant funding will come through for the project.
Commissioners also approved a bounty for feral hog eradication. The county will pay $5 per hog snout delivered.
“We get a grant from the state for feral hog eradication,” Young told commissioners. “We have to have some proof that you actually killed the hogs.”
“Five dollars gets you 1,000 hogs and then we are still 500,000 behind,” Commissioner John Fisher said.
County residents can bring the snout of any hog to county commissioners. The funds are only available until the $5,000 in grant funds are used up.
Commissioners also approved several items related to the November election including approving security training as required and set early voting to begin Oct. 13 at four locations throughout the county plus two Saturdays. There will be eight locations on Election Day.
Early voting locations will be Bea’s Kitchen in Cameron, the Buckholts Community Center in Buckholts, George Hill Patterson Community Center in Rockdale, and the Thorndale VFW.
In other business commissioners also: approved a pauper’s burial fee of $1,000 to assist in the cremation of those with no family; approved a subdivision variance for property on CR 335; conveyed properties held in trust to the City of Cameron and Cameron ISD; approved the salaries for the county auditor and court reporter; approved the exchange of labor for iron ore in Precinct 3; and approved consolidating municipal maintenance of birth and death records from the City of Rockdale.