By Bob Belcher
Corsicana Daily Sun
The Navarro County Commissioners Court agreed Monday to split the costs of a project to begin development of a “master plan” for the two major industrial park areas in Corsicana.
The action came at the court’s regular meeting Monday, following a presentation by Bill King, the new economic development director for the city and county.
The project will include studies of industrial property on Highway 31 east of Corsicana, and on Interstate 45 south of Corsicana.
King said the city had identified Adams Engineering of Tyler as the preferred vendor for the work after reviewing proposals from five firms that submitted qualifications.
Among the questions to be answered for both industrial locations in the first phase of the study is the feasibility of a rail spur to service industries located in the parks.
“Whether or not a rail spur would be feasible in either one of those properties, and if so, how much would it cost to develop,” King said.
Pct. 2 Commissioner Dick Martin agreed having the study done would be beneficial in efforts to work with the railroads, and other industrial prospects.
“A lot of companies that want to come in are really interested in seeing (a master plan),” Martin said.
King said Adams Engineering had good working relationships with the two railroads, Union Pacific and Burlington Northern, a benefit to the city and county in the study.
“They can at least get an answer,” King said. “It may not be the answer we’re looking for, but they can get the answer from them a lot more quickly.”
Corsicana City Manager Connie Standridge told commissioners there could be state and federal funding to help pay for building the spurs should that take place.
The city and county will share the costs of the study — $14,400 — on a 50/50 split.
The county’s share will be paid from funds due from the city for the time the economic development director’s position was vacant this summer.
COMMISSIONERS MEETING BRIEFS
Bruce Howard of the Navarro College Foundation, introduced Dr. Barbara Kavalier to the commissioners court. Kavalier is starting her second month as district president at Navarro College. She told commissioners she looked forward to working with them.
Consent Agenda approved
Minutes of the meeting of Oct. 15, 2013, and payment of bills as submitted by the county auditor were approved on the consent agenda.
With the weekend rains, no action was taken on any burn ban for the county.
Cellular allowances approved
Commissioners approved cellular phone allowances for new employees in the IT and Planning and Development departments.
County 2014 holidays approved
Commissioners approved a list of holidays for the 2014 calendar year. Approved holidays include Dec. 31, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 for New Year’s Day; Jan. 20 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day; Feb. 17 for President’s Day; April 18 for Good Friday; May 26 for Memorial Day; July 4 for Independence Day; Sept. 1 for Labor Day; Oct. 13 for Columbus Day; Nov. 11 for Veteran’s Day; Nov. 27 and 28 for Thanksgiving; and Dec. 24 and 25 for Christmas.
Audit letter approved
Commissioners authorized the county auditor to be one of two signatures on an engagement letter for the annual audit. The second signature will be a member of the commissioners court. Maximum cost of the audit will be $32,500.
HIDTA amendments approved
Commissioners approved two contract changes for the North Texas HIDTA. The county serves as the pass-through agency for funding to the law enforcement agency.
Inter-local agreements OK’d
Commissioners officially approved inter-local agreements with the city of Corsicana for several “shared services” including the housing of city prisoners, library services, animal shelter services, EMS services, fire and fire investigative services, and economic development services. A new agreement is being drafted for the transfer of city prisoners by county deputies when requested.
No action following closed session
Commissioners took no action after meeting in closed session to discuss personnel.
Bob Belcher may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email: email@example.com