Jan. 24—The Ector County Commissioners' Court was a full house on Tuesday morning.
Ector County Judge Dustin Fawcett and Ector County Commissioner for Precinct 4 Billy Hall presided over their first commissioner meeting.
In the second meeting of 2023, the Court voted 4-1 to accept competitive sealed bids for the new Juvenile Justice Center.
Hall, whose precinct would be the home of the new Juvenile Justice Center, said wants to have an idea of what could be built and what the price would be.
"As far as I'm concerned, this is just a gathering, because we can't make a decision without the information," Hall said. "... I'm OK with just going out for bid and see what happens. If nobody bids on it, we are back to square one."
Fawcett cast the lone dissenting vote for the Juvenile Justice Center. Fawcett explained his vote after the meeting.
"I think it's a waste of county resources to be putting this back out knowing that we aren't going to be building a facility for the future with the price that we have before us," Fawcett said. "We didn't get any bids the last time we put it out. I haven't seen construction prices go down. What this means is that we are more flexible on the size of the facility that we are going to be looking at. In my mind, building a facility with less beds doesn't solve the issue at all."
Fawcett also said he has begun conversations with Midland County Judge Terry Johnson and the Texas Juvenile Justice Department about creating a regional juvenile justice facility.
The Juvenile Justice Center, which was OK'd through $25 million in certificates of obligation, was planned to be a 32-bed facility. Ector County purchasing agent Lucy Soto said contractors will also be able to bid on a larger facility than 32 beds.
The proposed facility would have four separate pods that can house eight kids each. The proposed facility would be nearly 49,000 square feet. There would also be a separate area for probation, as well as keeping kids who are coming into the facility away from those leaving the facility.
Soto also explained to the Court the competitive bidding window will open Tuesday and be due back on March 21. She said there will also be a pre-bid meeting on Feb. 9 where contractors can have their questions answered.
After speaking in executive session about entering into a lease agreement between the county and Congressman August Pfluger's Office, the Court decided to approve the agreement. The office space will be pro bono, but Pfluger's Office will responsible for furnishing the space.
The Court also approved an $80,000 past due amount for the Ector County Coliseum to pay for internet services. The Court also allowed Ector County Chief Technical Officer Mario Ornelas and Coliseum Director Aaron Martin to renegotiate a lower speed of internet to 1 gigabyte. The Coliseum is currently running 4 gigabytes.
The Court also approved a five-year contract with the Odessa Jackalopes. The Court also approved a five-year contract with Jack Shack Entertainment Concessions Organization with the addition of looking into a separate account for concession within six months.
The Court voted 4-1 to table the appointment Fawcett to the policy board of the Permian Basin Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Commissioner for Precinct 1 Mike Gardner currently serves on the policy board for the Permian Basin Metropolitan Planning Organization. Gardner was approved 4-1 to stay on the policy board. Fawcett was the lone dissenting vote.
Fawcett expressed during the meeting he was "surprised" and "highly disappointed" to table the decision of his appointment to the policy board for the Permian Basin Metropolitan Planning Organization.
Though he wasn't selected to serve on the policy board, Fawcett said this won't cause ill feelings moving forward.
"I think Commissioner Gardner is a very solid commissioner and his head and heart are in the right place," Fawcett said. "This is one agenda item. It's one committee. It's a committee that meets once a month that has a lot of influence on our road system, but I'm not going to stay disconnected by any means."
The Court denied a cellular phone and monthly service for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3, as no other Justice of the Peace has this agreement. The Court expressed interest in revisiting this item during its yearly budget meetings in August.
Due to weather, the presentation from Johnson Controls was tabled. The agenda item of action regarding the cancellation of the Measurement and Verification Services from Johnson Controls was also tabled.
The court also:
>> Approved action on MHRC Lot 35, Blk 38, Pleasant Farms Subdivision, Replat of 4th Filing (Prec. 4).
>> Approved action on a Replat of Lot 8 less the North 337.46 feet, Block 1 1, Pleasant Farms Subdivision A, Subdivision of 2.33 Acres in Section 48, Black 43, T-3-S Co., (Prec. 4).
>> Approved action on a Replat of Tract 6, Save and Except the North 4 Acres of Tract 6 Belmont Acres A Subdivision of 18.00 acres of land, situated in Section 1, Block 44,T-2-5, (Prec. 1).
>> Approved the Sole Source List.
>> Approved specifications on a request for qualifications for engineering services for the Greater Gardendale Water Supply Corporation (GGWSC) Water Distribution Project.
>> Approved the proposal specifications on Extermination of Mesquites.
>> Approved the sale by auction of assets and other items listed in the documents associated with this agenda item.
>> Approved a resolution in support of hosting the 96th Annual County Judges and Commissioners Association Conference on April 22nd-25th, 2025, to pledge $10,000 in support of hosting the conference.
>> Approved appointing Judge Dustin Fawcett and Ector County Commissioner for Precinct 1 Mike Gardner to the MOTRAN Board (Midland-Odessa Transportation Alliance, Inc.).
>> Approved appointing Judge Dustin Fawcett and Ector County Commissioner for Precinct 2 Greg Simmons to the Odessa Partnership Board.
>> Approved an Interlocal Cooperation Contract authorized by Texas Government Code, Chapter 791 and Texas Local Government Code, Chapter 262 with Presidio County, to receive planning and needs assessment services from the Texas Department of Agriculture through the Colonia Fund: Planning & Needs Assessment Program.
>> Approved a line item transfer to General Fund, Library, Professional Dues/Fees, 001-690-5302 from New Books, 001-690-5201 for $740.
>> Approved a line item transfer to General Fund, Justice of the Peace Precinct 1, Professional Dues and Fees, 001-201-5302 from Office Supplies, 001-201-5171 for $10.
>> Approved a line item transfer to Self Funded Liability Insurance Fund, Public Officials Liability, 032-960-5366 from County Legal Fees, 032-960-5334 for $466.
>> Approved a budget amendment to General Fund, Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3, Departmental Furniture and Equipment, 001-203-5199 from Unreserved Fund Balance, 001-3310 for $2,000.
>> Approved a budget amendment to General Fund, Library, Library Supplies, 001-690-5185, and to donated revenues, 001-4171 for $15,000.
>> Approved a budget amendment to Sales Tax Fund, Animal Control, Animal Supplies and Expense, 005-361-5198, and to donated revenues, 005-4171 for $1,751.
>> Approved a budget amendment to General Fund, Non Departmental Health & Welfare, Indigent Burials, 001-520-5396 from Unreserved Fund Balance, 001-3310 for $15,000.
>> Approved a budget amendment to General Fund, County Judge, Office Supplies,00l-010-5171for $500, to Educational Travel, 001-010-5161 for $3,100 from Unreserved Fund Balance for $3,600.
>> Approved the Accounts Payable Fund Requirements Report for January 24th, 2023, and review County financial statements and reports.