KARNES COUNTY – The Karnes County Sheriff’s Department will upgrade 32 car laptop computers and 12 office computers after the commissioners court meeting Oct. 31 at the historical courthouse.

Karnes County Sheriff Dwayne Villanueva and Chief Deputy Robert Ebrom both expressed the unfortunate circumstance to meet the new Criminal Justice Information Services mandate that goes into effect Jan. 14, 2020, at a cost of $87,164.68.

The KCSO didn’t learn about the new mandate until an email regarding it on Sept. 16.

“When we found out, Sheriff Villanueva and myself were upset knowing the upgrade wasn’t on the last fiscal year budget,” Ebrom said.

“We have Windows 7 now in the units and the new upgrade requires Windows 10.

“We were able to maximize the use of the computers we had to save some money.”

The KCSO will simply change the hard drive in nine out of the 12 office computers needing an upgrade, according to Ebrom.

The commissioners court approved making a line item amendment to the budget to fund upgrading sheriff’s office computer upgrades from the contingency fund in line item 16.

The court also approved to authorize Opiela Plumbing to repair the jail gas regulator system for the HVAC systems at a cost of $10,825.30.

Another agenda item was approved to authorize Opiela Plumbing to repair the jail under floor sump pumps and piping at a cost of $9,545.81.

In other matters, after receiving more rain around the county, the burn ban has been lifted effective Oct. 31.

Citizens must remain aware and use caution when burning.

“It doesn’t change anything for safety,” Karnes County Volunteer Fire Chief Charles Malik said.

“The people still have a responsibility to keep the fire from spreading.

“They shouldn’t burn on windy days and need to use common sense when burning. Keeping a garden hose nearby is a good thing.”

Wayne Gisler, with the Karnes County Road and Bridge Department, presented contracts to the commissioners for water hauling services to various locations in Karnes County.

Commissioner Precinct 1 Shelby Dupnik asked if the water was included in the contracts.

“It does not include the water,” Gisler replied.

“The water is bought separately.”

Gisler named Tierra Lease, JNX and MOVAC as the companies seeking contracts.

The commissioners also approved a contract for bulk road materials for local pickup and related services in Karnes County.

“This is for freight and materials,” Gisler said.

Lastly, a presentation by Perry Rabke, with DRG Architects, focused on the options on constructing an archives building for Karnes County.

The building is owned by the county and was an old cafe directly across from the historical courthouse.

“The county needs storage,” Karnes County Judge Wade Hedtke said.

“This is the infant stages of the project because I wanted to bring it to the court for discussion.”

Rabke stated there will be no extension services, or offices at the building.