County to Purchase New Courthouse Sign; Jail Receives Clean Bill

June 8, 2021 - The Shelby County commissioners approved the purchase of a new sign for the Shelby County Courthouse during their meeting on Wednesday, June 2, 2021.

Currently, the sign which is beside the courthouse is in deteriorating condition since it was damaged during Hurricane Laura in 2020.

A motion carried by the commissioners to approve $34,140 out of contingency fund to cover the expense of tearing the current sign down and replacing it with a digital message board.

"The thing about it is, the sign, I'm going to be able to put on whatever I want to on my computer. Like every few seconds it'll flash you know date and time, or time and temperature," said Judge Allison Harbison.

Holidays, cancelled court, burn bans, and election information were several suggested messages that may run on the electronic sign.

Previous to the approval, Commissioner Roscoe McSwain confirmed with Ann Blackwell, Treasurer, the amount of money remaining in the contingency fund to be $46,704.

"If we're going to buy the sign, and it looks like Sanford and Son out there now, we're going to buy it this year or next year. It makes no difference," said McSwain.

McSwain further stated, although a budget amendment couldn't be made for the sign at this time, if an emergency situation were to arise a budget amendment could be made to address that situation.

Commissioner Tom Bellmyer said he is in favor of replacing the sign and he also would like the county to consider looking at the courthouse clock for repair in the eventual future, since the historic commission was so successful with the clock on the historic courthouse grounds.

The meeting entered executive session and upon returning to open session, Judge Harbison stated the commissioners discussed the county's tax abatement policy and possibly amending it at a later date. No action was taken.

Judge Harbison enlightened the court the Texas Commission on Jail Standards has now designated the Shelby County Jail as compliant once again.

"We got a clean bill of health from the jail inspectors, so our jail is now compliant. So, that's good news," said Judge Harbison.

The meeting was then adjourned.

During the May 26 meeting, although no action was taken, the commissioners entered into executive session and upon returning Judge Harbison stated Keri Shofner was no longer going to hold the position of Emergency Management Coordinator. Judge Harbison stated she now had a little more direction on where to look and what to do.

Agenda items approved during the June 2, 2021 meeting include:
1. Pay weekly expenses.

2. Replace the Courthouse sign for $34,140.

3. Resolution Supporting the Extension of the DSRIP Program which will ensure uninterrupted and much-needed healthcare and mental health funding for our County.

4. Adjourn.