County Commissioners held meeting Thursday

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The Gray County Commissioners Court met on Thursday morning for a regularly-scheduled meeting. 

During the meeting, the Commissioners met with District Court Judge Phil Vanderpool and discussed going back to in-person court versus Zoom/Digital.

County Judge Chris Porter said at the moment, the only way to hold in-person court is if there is an emergency juvenile detention meeting or a protective order. As the pandemic wanes for the area, the courts are trying to establish the best procedures for returning to in-person.

“I’m hoping that I will be doing in-person proceedings in the next 30 days,” Porter said. “But they’ll be very limited and I won’t be having any 200-person dockets. He (Judge Vanderpool) is talking about doing a jury trial in the next three months, which will be a challenge.”

Vanderpool is the regional presiding judge and is responsible for approving or making all of the security/safety plans for each court in Gray County. The plan then needs to be approved by Judge Ana Estevez in Amarillo and the Supreme Court and Office of Court Administration.

“Other counties are opening up and doing some proceedings,” Porter said. “Potter and Hutchinson have done some and have some scheduled. It’s time to have face-to-face court again. You just don’t have the same amount of bite doing it over Zoom as you do in a courtroom with a judge, the bailiff and the atmosphere there.”

Porter added that since participants are required to be in the courtroom, the rules require masks to be worn.

“You’re making a choice to go mask-less at the mall or the grocery store,” Porter said. “When you come to the courts, we are more than likely going to require people to wear a mask because that’s part of the safety strategy of not spreading COVID-19 at a required hearing.”

The Court also discussed the County Road 3 rebuild and pushed going out for bids until May 1 as there was a misunderstanding on who had ownership of a corner of that intersection.

The Court also discussed the action to take on a zero-turn mower to either replace or repair at Perry Lefors Field. The Commissioners hope to have numbers on the project by April 15.

The Commissioners didn’t take any action on the Game Room Resolution as the item was just to insure it had been read thoroughly and was understood.

The Commissioners also approved the following items:

• Extending the Gray County Emergency Declaration

• Accept CLE Credit’s for Commissioners Arrington and Baggerman

• Grant for Indigent Defense from TDIC (Texas Indigent Defense Commission).

• Local Rabies Control Authority. This item appoints Bryan Byron of McLean in the position. Byron is the County Trapper and will be able to verify through the Department of Health rabies issues inside the County.

• Tax Bids for the Following Property: 

Property Address: Lot on Oklahoma

Legal Description: Lot 10 Blk 1 Cohen Second

Taxes Due: 66

Appraisal Value: 380

Name of Bidder: Keith Kelley

Amount of Bid: $300

• Contract with Verizon for Sheriffs Department. This is for a contract upgrade with Verizon.

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