Resolution of the five-year standoff between Kerr County and the city of Kerrville over free library service to county residents came closer to reality Monday as county commissioners approved a proposed agreement.
The Kerrville City Council is scheduled to consider the same agreement this evening.
Under the plan, the county will provide animal control services inside the city, and county residents who live outside Kerrville will once more use the Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library for free.
The agreement includes fewer specifics about what animal control services will be provided by the county than were in a proposal not accepted by the county on Oct. 23.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Jonathan Letz said city officials contacted him after the October meeting, and he met with Kerrville City Manager Mark McDaniel to talk about his concerns with the first proposal.
The city took out seven of the 19 specifics about animal services and modified others, but the change Letz felt was more important is that the city and county will evaluate the costs and programs after the first three months to determine “the desire and feasibility for continuing the agreement.”
That means the first review would come after March 31, if the agreement goes into effect as planned on Jan. 1. The initial term would end Sept. 30, 2018, but automatically renew on Oct. 1 each year for four years before terminating on Sept. 30, 2022.
The city or county can, however, terminate the agreement before then by providing written notice within 180 days after the beginning of the fiscal year.
“Originally, it was a much more automatic renewal,” Letz said. “I told the city manager that this was very important. … If the costs are far more than we anticipate, there may be a need to have new negotiations.”
Precinct 4 Commissioner Bob Reeves agreed, noting the early review also gives commissioners time to adjust budget planning for the next fiscal year.
Terms in the proposal include:
- The county will provide animal control services as required by law, and conducting daily patrols, 24 hours per day, excluding county holidays.
- The county will operate and maintain its existing animal control facility at 3600 Loop 534, keeping it open to the public 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for county holidays.
- The county will be the local rabies control authority for the city.
- The city will continue to respond to and investigate allegations of animal theft, animal noise and nuisance issues related to keeping animals in the city.
- The county will not be responsible for collection of dead animals from streets and rights-of-way inside the city, nor is it obligated to enforce wildlife issues regulated by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept.
- The city, especially the police department, may be called to support county animal control workers when “a dangerous or threatening situation exists.”
- The city will maintain the accreditation of the library under state codes.
- Within 90 days of full execution of the agreement, the city will amend membership of the Library Advisory Board to provide that one member of the five-member board may be appointed by the county at the first opportunity a vacancy occurs on the board.
- The city and county will provide written summaries of the operations of their respective services on a quarterly basis.
- The agreement also notes that the services are independent operations.
“Each party shall look to the other party for results only, and shall not have the right to direct the other party, or any of its officers or employees in the performance of such services.”
The commissioners approved an emergency request from County Engineer Charlie Hastings to replace 48 translucent roof panels for the Ag Barn. Suspending the normal process of soliciting bids for the panels, they approved paying $11,320 to Feller Fabrication LLC.
In July, commissioners rejected bids to replace the panels damaged in a 2016 hail storm because they felt they were too high.
Hastings said he inspected the Ag Barn roof on Nov. 3 and saw large cracks and holes in the existing panels, which would create hazardous conditions in the event of snow, ice or sleet storms.
Expediting the process will also allow the work to be completed between events scheduled for the facility, he said.
In other business, the commissioners:
- Approved a change order allowing $100,000 already budgeted for the Kerr County jail expansion to be spent for items that need to be completed before the facility can be inspected.
- Approved moving Precinct 3 Constable Ken Wilke’s office from room 102 to conference room 108 in the courthouse.
- Cast 1,000 votes for Charles Lewis and 284 votes for Carter Crane in the Kerr Central Appraisal District board election.
- Authorized a contract with Rock Engineering for a geotechnical pavement study of Skyview and Oakview roads in Precinct 4. Commissioner Reeves said the streets are being used by heavy trucks, and the data will help determine if load restrictions need to be created.
- Approved a $32,075 construction contract with Rojas Concrete for the removal and replacement of concrete rip rap on Center Point River Road in Precinct 2.
- Approved application for a $1.5 million hazard mitigation grant to address drainage issues at Center Point and River Road.
- Approved engaging Arm-strong, Vaughan and Associates, P.C., of Universal City for the annual audit at a cost of $49,300.