Commissioners OK regulation of temp signs
Gillespie County Commissioners approved an order regulating temporary signage on county property during their regular meeting on Monday.
In late June, commissioners received notice from an Austin-based attorney who was representing two area tea party members.
In February 2018, an order was passed by the commissioners concerning state statutes on electioneering during elections and early voting.
“We had passed an order basically preventing putting signs on county property. They could still hand out materials,” Gillespie County Judge Mark Stroeher said.
The complainants said the order was unconstitutional and wished for the county to rescind the order, threatening to file a lawsuit if the matter was not taken care of.
The order was made in an effort to prevent signs from cluttering the courthouse lawn and attaching signs to trees and buildings.
All commissioners agreed it was an reasonable regulation but obtained legal counsel to deal with the matter.
The order that was put into effect on Monday will rescind the order that was made in February 2018 and make it apply to all temporary signage on any county property, other than signage that is approved by the commissioners for county business.
“The attorney felt like our existing order was valid and he felt like it would sustain us in the lawsuit but his concern was that we would spend a lot of money on attorney fees,” Stroeher said. “He felt like we could win but he didn’t feel like it was appropriate use of tax money.”
The revision would basically prohibit temporary signage on county property, unless it is approved.
Commissioners approved the new order.
A public hearing was held to revise a plat of land in Paradise Ranch, located off U.S. 87 South.
A request from Cindy Segner to add buildings to her existing property, as well as purchase 17 acres adjacent to the subdivision that would have an easement that would go to Paradise Ranch.
“Many of my neighbors do not want to allow the easement due to the fact that it is unrestricted property (17 acres),” Segner said. “There are others in the area that drive through the Paradise Ranch to get to their property and it is also unrestricted. There is an easement there.”
Concerns grew from area neighbors about building multiple bed and breakfast structures or increasing traffic on a road that may not be safe.
“This is a nice piece of property and I think as a landowner she has the right to do whatever she wants to with her land,” Ken Weatherford said. “My concern is that the road is dangerous and if there are two access points already, I don’t see a need for a third. I just want to caution adding a third entrance and I hope that the deed restrictions are extended to her property, as well.”
Stroeher stated that the application would allow for the additional 15 acres to be brought into the subdivision and therefore, would be subject to the restrictions set out in the subdivision.
“If they were to violate the restrictions, she would be subject to the consequences,” Stroeher said.
The plat revisions, as well as a minimum road frontage, were approved by the commissioners with the intent that any neighborhood restrictions would be followed.
Gillespie County Airport Manager Tony Lombardi presented commissioners with information about the Routine Airport Maintenance Program.
The annual agreement provides funding for airport projects with help from the Texas Department of Transportation.
“The county is responsible for 100% of the funds to begin with but is then reimbursed by TxDOT for 50%,” Lombardi said.
The program allows $100,000 in funding for airport related projects.
Commissioners approved the agreement which will be in effect Oct. 1.
Gillespie County constables will receive new rifle-rated ballistic vests, thanks to a donation from the Gillespie County 100 Club.
Commissioners approved the purchase of vests in early April.
“We knew that the 100 Club was going to provide the funds, so we need to approve accepting the donation check,” Gillespie County Treasurer Kelly Eckhardt said. Total cost of the vests was $2,159.
• Approved purchase of four micro-computers from the Gillespie County Information Technology Department for $4,450.
• Approved tree trimming to be done in Precinct 3, totaling $31,000.
• Approved an agreement with RAC, Inc. Elevator Inspection Service to provide annual safety tests on elevators at the Gillespie County Courthouse and Pioneer Memorial Library.
• Commissioners court will meet at 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 23 at the Gillespie County Courthouse. The 2020 fiscal year budget will likely be approved during this meeting.