It’s been a long road to get there, but the Karnes County Commissioners Court unanimously voted to accept a $1.9 million settlement with defendants in a lawsuit involving work at the Karnes County Jail and annex.

The county will also keep additional funds related to the jail expansion project, which will result in a total of $2.235 million being given to the county by contractors and architects over flaws in the facility related to design failures, as detailed in previous articles which have appeared in the Countywide.

During a Jan. 30, 2018 meeting, attorney Jeffrey S. Chapman told commissioners, “There are obvious signs of soil movement beneath the jail. Pipes have moved, broken or bent,” attorney Jeffrey S. Chapman told commissioners.

He added that  the contractor failed to install suitable materials or installed no materials at the through slab penetrations and also failed to install all pipe sleeves and proper slab piping.

County Judge Wade Hedtke said he appreciated Chapman for his role in helping the county recover damages.

“Thank you for your help,” he said. “Let’s put this behind us and move on down the road.”

Courthouse repairs approved

The court also voted to remove and repair finials, or large ornaments which are a part of the Karnes County Courthouse.

Storm damage has loosened the structures, and commissioners agreed it was a priority to have them removed and fixed “right away.

Estimates are that it will cost $15,000 to remove and eventually reposition the finials, as well as about $4,000 each in estimated repair costs.

Commissioners approved the work to be done at a total cost not to exceed $35,000.

In other action, commissioners:

• Applied for a Community Development Block Grant that will help with repairs and expansion of the El Oso water system.

• Approved an interlocal agreement with El Oso to haul water to different parts of the county.

• Approved a professional services agreement with Lankford Community Services that will help community members receive repairs of dilapidated houses.



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