Commissioners approve subscription for radios for one year

Communication about radios became a little garbled Monday in Johnson County commissioners court.

Douglas O’Neal, the county’s radio system manager, and Cleburne Police Department Assistant Chief Linn Goodman, chair of the county’s Radio Advisory Board, recommended during a workshop session that commissioners consider a four-year contract to continue subscribing to a system operated by the city Fort Worth.

The subscription fee is $22.66 per month per radio and covers radios used by the sheriff’s office, emergency management, the Emergency Service District, and first responders in every city in the county.

County Judge Roger Harmon emphasized that the county is simply attempting to break even on the contract and does not intend to make money with the subscription fee.

“I just want to break even,” Harmon said.

Commissioners were skeptical of a four-year deal.

“Our road and bridge contracts are based on costs of fuel and other changing costs,” Prec. 1 Commissioner Rick Bailey said. “It’s not in our best interest to lock this in for four years.”

County Attorney Bill Moore agreed.

“I caution not locking in anything,” he said. “It’s a yearly contract, so let’s not lock into four years.”

Prec. 3 Commissioner Jerry Stringer reminded his colleagues that the issue is public safety.

“As we review the contract, let’s remember we can’t cut corners to jeopardize public safety.”

When Harmon reconvened the court into regular session, Bailey moved to adopt the cost as recommended by the advisory board for a one-year contract. Prec. 2 Commissioner Kenny Howell seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

In the announcements and presentations portion of the agenda, Kevin Cadenhead of the accounting firm of Kennemer Masters & Lunsford LLC, of Lake Jackson, the county’s outside auditor, reported that his team found “no issues” with the county’s financial statement and is in compliance with how it uses state funds.

“It’s a clean report with no deficiencies,” he said.

The county has $21.9 million in unassigned funds, about four and one-half months of reserve, Cadenhead said.

Harmon was pleased.

“The county is in good shape financially,” he said. “When I became judge, we were on pins and needles awaiting Central Appraisal District appraisals. Now, we’re in good financial standing and have a good rating on bonds should we need to borrow money.

“I thank the court for it’s dedication and hard work on behalf of the citizens of our county.”

Commissioners declared April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Readers can watch court proceedings online at Navigate the tool bar to Commissioners Court, scroll down to Meeting Video, and click on Commissioners Court.

The next regular scheduled meeting of the Johnson County Commissioners Court is 9 a.m. Monday, April 9, in Room 201 of the Johnson County Courthouse in Cleburne.

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