Why is this now important?
First – it could be part of a move that would relocate the probation department.
“If we get it surveyed, we might have a (billboard) sign on our property,” said Carlos Salazar Jr., into whose precinct this area falls, said during a meeting earlier this month. “We are not sure about it.”
Commissioner Dennis DeWitt added, “My research shows they are paying a guy in Goliad and have been for years and years.”
The sign, a large billboard featuring an advertisement for Bud Light on one side and State Farm on the other, is owned by Lamar Outdoor Advertising.
The county approved a survey and it appears as though the advertising sign is on county property.
DeWitt, in an email correspondence said that the court will likely talk with company representatives from Lamar Outdoor Advertising during a future meeting.
The survey was initially approved to ensure the land’s suitability and size as the new home of the probation department.
Moving the probation department will be required if its current location is sold as part of an agreement that would bring a new nursing home to the county.
News of the proposed 60-bed nursing home is nothing new — it’s just been a long time coming because it involves Medicare and state regulations.
In the works now is the possible sale of county-owned land currently being used by the probation department near the hospital and sheriff’s office.
The gist of the agreement—more than two years in the making—is that the county will give TagMgt the land at Hillside Drive and Toledo Street for the nearly 37,000-square-foot facility.
In return, TagMgt will demolish the probation office and construct a new one on one of two sites as yet to be determined.
This area off Jackson Street is one of those location under consideration.
The company will construct the building and pay for hookups of all utilities.
There is still a wrinkle in the process. The property at Jackson Street isn’t zoned properly.
However, the court approved that Salazar approach the city to have this remedied.
This wasn’t the only land acquisition on the court’s agenda Monday morning.
The county leaders also gave up some of their property to Fuller Tractor Company.
County Attorney Mike Knight confirmed the legality of the transfer to the company.
Knight said, “The commissioners court in prior action transferred part of this easement to Farm Bureau at their request.
“There is really no difference between this transaction and that transaction.
“It is clear the county is never going to use this right of way and has never used this right of way.”
Commissioner Ken Haggard said that this type of transfer has occurred before. “We have done it here and have done it in Skidmore twice.”
The benefit is that the property, which the county has no need for, can go back on the books for tax purposes.
The only concern raised was about what lies beneath this property.
DeWitt asked, “Can we structure this so it is surface transfer only because there is some oil and gas activity in that area?”
Knight responded, “That is all they are interested in anyway.
“I would not recommend it any other way.
“I cannot tell you if there are mineral rights, but, if there are, we need to keep them.”
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5221, or at editor@mySouTex.com.