Charter amendment suit filing delayed

By Austin R. Eck —

Gillespie County Commissioners met in a regular session on Monday to discuss the purchase of additional radio equipment for the Gillespie County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO).

In two separate agenda items, commissioners approved the purchase of 11 new 700-megahertz radios for the GCSO for $52,577.

In the second item, Sheriff Buddy Mills asked the court for 22 additional radios and activation of two radio towers that will allow easy communication between police, fire departments and the GCSO.

“We’re in a predicament here where we need to make some important decisions on how we’re going to continue to operate and provide the emergency services,” Mills said. 

The cost of activating the two towers and the additional radios is $508,702.

However, commissioners were hesitant to approve the request because the expenditure is not in this year’s budget and next year’s budget has not been made.

Commissioners also feared the consequences of approving an expense before the budget was approved.

“We want to make sure it’s all legal,” Commissioner Curtis Cameron said. 

Ultimately, the commissioners approved the purchase, subject to financing and if they were within the statutes.

Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), the agency that would activate the towers, is willing to consider postponing payment into the next budget year if it receives a letter from the court that shows its intent to purchase with an anticipated budget-approval date before Sept. 15, Mill said. 

Jail update

County officials received an update from Sedalco on the progress of the construction of the new jail.

The construction of the jail is still on schedule with a completion date of Dec. 4.

Sedalco encountered additional expenditures to change the color of the mortar from gray to tan and to change the framing of some columns to support the stones that will be placed on top, but credits identified by Sedalco offset the cost of the new framing and color change, with $208 remaining. The remaining credits went back into the contingency fund. 

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