Goliad County looks at one-time expenses with lawsuit money
GOLIAD - Goliad County commissioners heard a wide range of wish lists Monday morning for the use of the extra $3.6 million the county received from the United States Navy.
The county settled out of court in June after suing the Navy over the value of the Goliad Airpark, said County Judge David Bowman.
The county plans to use part of the funds for one-time expenses and put the rest of the money in reserves, Bowman said Monday.
Andy Janca, information technology coordinator for Goliad, recommended the county invest in updating the phone system. He said phones in the county offices and the sheriff's office are obsolete. The systems, he said, are difficult to find parts for, and the dispatch office needs more lines. Depending on the system, Internet or landline based, the costs to the county will be between $35,000 and $100,000.
Janca also recommended the county upgrade the software used by the treasurer and auditor, which has not been updated in about 30 years. Cost for the software would be about $22,000, and training and installation would be an additional $8,000.
Goliad County Sheriff Kirby Brumby recommended the county replace the control panel at the county jail. He said the system is too outdated and hard to repair. It could cost about $200,000.
Bowman urged the commissioners to look at repairs and maintenance for the historical courthouse but did not have an estimate available.
Peggy Fonseca, emergency medical services director, said she needs county funds to commit to building a new emergency medical service station because Goliad is outgrowing its current building. "Trucks aren't getting smaller; they are getting bigger. The call volume is not less, it is more," she said. Fonseca requested about $200,000, which she thinks she can match through grants.
The Senior Citizens Center in Goliad is requesting about $150,000 to help construct a new building at their site, said Mary Wade, executive director of the Senior Citizens Center. She said the building is not up to code and needs to be replaced.
The court did not take any action on the one-time expenses. Bowman said he does not have a deadline to get the projects approved but can add them to the budget as they are approved.
Built in the 1970s by the U.S. Navy, the airport was sold to Goliad County by the U.S. Navy for $1 in 2000.
Goliad Commissioners Court turned down a $2.36 million offer from the U.S. Navy to buy back the airport in 2011, saying their own appraiser valued the property at $9 million. The Navy then declared eminent domain.