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Hempstead County Quorum Court Meets

By Staff, 01/3/17 4:45 PM

HOPE – The Hempstead County Quorum Court met Tuesday morning following the swearing in ceremony of County officials.

In new business, an ordinance addressing the Circuit Clerk’s Commission Fee was passed. The other new business was a resolution declaring a condition of vacancy in the District 2 Justice of the Peace position. Billy Rook held the position until December 31, 2016, when he resigned in anticipation of his relocation to outside of his district. The resolution was passed; the Governor will now name a person to fill the position.

Next, the subject of the relocation of the Courthouse came up for discussion. Architect Wayne Trull addressed the Court on the renovations that would be needed to the existing Farmers Bank building in order to accommodate the Courthouse needs. He estimated that the renovations would cost $1.7 million. Renovations to the Farmers Bank Building, once vacated, would take six to eight months.

To upgrade the current Courthouse to current standards, Mr. Trull stated, would cost approximately $4.2 million, and would take eighteen to twenty months.

There was more discussion on the idea of building a new Courthouse at the location of the old armory building, although it would about half the size of the existing Courthouse. Several Court members were in favor of doing further research into this idea. Mr. Trull estimated the cost of that to be $5-6 million. A motion was made to pursue the Farmers Bank building but did not pass.

Before adjourning, there was discussion about separating the collectors and sheriff offices in order to modernize and streamline tax collection. There was no action taken on this.

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