Mitchell County Commissioners Meeting Monday Sept 18



Mitchell County Commissioners




Monday, September 18, 2017


By Terry Bailey




The Mitchell County Commissioners met at the Courthouse Monday morning, September 18 to oversee the business of the County. All Commissioners were present as was the County Clerk. Also present was Casey Frazier of the Caterpillar Foley Equipment Company and citizen Fred Sibley.



First on the agenda was Superintendent of Public Works Dale Housh. He reported there had been a collision on a bridge near Hunter between a County tractor pulling a mower and a semi-tractor trailer. He said the damage was mostly to the tractor trailer rig which was estimated between $3,000 and $4,000. Neither driver was issued a ticket. Injuries to the tractor and mower were superficial and should be easily repaired.



Housh said he had gathered three quotes on a new backhoe as the Commissioners had requested. One quote did not meet the specifications leaving a quote from Foley Equipment and one from another vendor. The bid from Foley Equipment appeared to best meet the needs of the county. The old model backhoe dates from 1980. A trade in value of $6,300 was offered by Foley’s. The Commissioners and Housh agreed that the old backhoe had more value as a backup unit than to let it go for such a low trade in offer. The new unit comes with a five year warranty with Caterpillar providing all filters and oil during that time for regular maintenance. Oil and filters will be changed by County personnel every 250 hours. The Commissioners voted unanimously to purchase the new backhoe for the Caterpillar dealer, Foley Equipment Company, for $116,758. Frazier said the delivery time would be after the first of the year because Caterpillar is not making a lot of machines ahead to time due to the tenuous economy.


Frazier commented, “I am glad to sell Mitchell County a new piece of equipment. Dale take very good care of the equipment and they last longer here than most counties.”


Next up was a discussion regarding the purchase of a new 20 yard trailer. Housh presented two bids to the Commissions, one from Classic Trailers and one from Rand D Repair from Tipton. Housh said he had checked out Rand D thoroughly and believed they were a good company and provided a quality product. He recommended buying the 34 foot trailer from R and D rather than a 40 foot trailer from Classic. He believes the shorter trailer would be easier to maneuver and turn around on the County roads. They currently have a tractor unit they can use to pull the trailer. The Commissioner voted 3-0 to purchase a 34 foot, belly dump, gravel trailer from R and D Repair of Tipton for $31,850.


House reported that work is continuing on the bridge replacement project on K road but due to the geologic conditions it is painfully slow going


Rick Horn, Mitchell County Emergency Management Director, was present to report to the Commissioners regarding his 12 day stint in the Houston area helping with the hurricane relief effort.


It was eye opening,” said Horn. “It is hard to believe how tremendous and widespread the damage was.”


In Port Arthur folks had pulled all the ruined materials out of their homes and piled them about six feet high or higher along the streets. 

Street after street, for as far as you could see were piles of furniture and mattresses and personal items that were ruined by the flood waters. I don’t know how they were going to get rid of all that damaged material.”


One job assigned to Horn was to rent three cars to allow helpers to get to the sites where they were needed. He said all the car rental vendors were swamped because of insurance agencies, and FEMA workers and Red Cross workers and volunteers were all wanting to rent vehicles. He said every dealer had the waiting rooms filled with the line going down the street. He was able to secure the needed three vehicles but it took a long, long time.


Horn said there were volunteers from as far away as Hawaii, Alaska, Canada and New York State. Virtually every state in the union was represented.


Fred Sibley reported to the Commissioners that he was recently driving in the Hunter area and that the roads were “lousy” with deer. He said he narrowly missed one or two. Because the roadside ditches have not been mowed, the deer are at the side of the road in the high grass and can dart into the road with little time for drivers to react. He asked if they had plans to mow the ditches in that area anytime soon. Commissioner Jim Marshall added that he had received calls from folks in the Tipton area expressing the same concern.


The Commissioners told Sibley that crews were in the area now to begin mowing. As a matter of fact, the collision between the tractor trailer and the tractor and mower took place as mowing was taking place near Hunter.


Having addressed all the business items before them the meeting was adjourned.


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