By CLINT FOSTER
PALO PINTO – In a regular meeting of the Palo Pinto County Commissioners Court, rescheduled for Tuesday afternoon because of the ice that blanketed much of North Texas over the weekend, commissioners approved multiple line items that will have an impact on the county.
First, commissioners approved an agreement to contribute right of way funds to the Texas Department of Transportation for a new bridge over the Brazos River on U.S. Highway 281.
County Judge David Nicklas told the Index the county will provide $39,000 toward the project that will place new north and south-bound bridges over the river to be completed sometime in 2014.
Also on Tuesday’s agenda was the approval of a retainer agreement with Allison, Bass and Associates, LLP for the County Energy Transportation Reinvestment Zone project (CETRZ).
Commissioners approved the agreement and set a public hearing concerning the project for Dec. 23.
Nicklas explained CETRZ will provide approximately $225 million dollars in state funds – allotted through Senate Bill 1747 – to refurbish county roads that have been damaged as a result of area oil and gas projects.
Finally, commissioners re-appointed one of their own – Jeff Fryer of Precinct 4 – to the Board of Directors of the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone No. 2.
This board works directly with the project to renovate the famous Baker Hotel in Mineral Wells; a project that Nicklas said continues to move forward.
In other business, commissioners:
• Awarded bids to Freeman Electric for Life Safety and Electrical Renovations for the Palo Pinto County Courthouse.
The value of the electrical project stands at around $290,000 and the safety project at around $34,000.
• Renewed the county’s contract with CareFlite.
• Took no action on instituting a county-wide burn ban.