While last month's Sheriff's Report from Kaufman County Sheriff Bryan Beavers to the Kaufman County Commissioners Court highlighted the rise in family violence cases in the county, this month's report highlighted the rise of just about everything else.
After County Judge Hal Richards asked Sheriff Beavers to include year-to-year changes in his monthly reports, the commissioners were struck by the marked increase in responses in just about every area. And according to Beavers, they're just getting started.
"You've got to remember, these are the slow months," Beavers said. "Summer is just not getting started. I think you're going to be shocked by where these numbers are headed."
"There's a lot of change in the wind," Richards said. "I don't think you guys are going to be out of work anytime soon."
Precinct 4 commissioner Ken Cates noted that animal control responses in particular have nearly doubled from last year.
"That just continues, I think, to point out our need for progress in our animal control dilemma," Cates said.
Cates also commented on a series of thefts that had recently been resolved in part by the Sheriff's Department in his own Mabank neighborhood.
"In our own neighborhood, we recently had a series of break-ins," Cates said. "Small petty thefts. And through the professionalism of the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office and their cooperation with the Mabank Police Department, they were able to resolve that issue and do it very speedily. the professionalism I saw of his officers, I just thought, was worth noting."
"I appreciate that commissioner," Beavers responded. "I say I'm only as good as what I'm surrounded with and I'm surrounded with great individuals that do a great job. We're going to strive to keep moving forward."
During last week's meeting of the commissioners court, precinct 1 commissioner Mike Hunt also made a motion to award a contract to Forney Blasting LLC to sandblast inside the old county jail located on the property of the poor farm.
Two bids were made for the job with Forney Blasting coming in at the cheaper end with an offer of $10,000 for 40 hours with the caveat that the job could increase to $15,000 for 60 hours if needed. The money will come out of a $50,000 portion of the budget designated for the county poor farm. The repainting after the sandblasting will be completed by current Kaufman County inmates.
Commissioner Hunt argued that the sandblasting and repainting was necessary to continue the renovations that have already been made and to remove what he calls an egregious amount of paint coating the walls of the cells on the inside.
"It's been painted time and time again," Hunt said. "I guess back in the day they had to keep the inmates busy, so they had them painting. There's just a thick layer of paint on all of the jail cells.
Hunt also argued that maintaining historical facilities like the old jail are important draws to Kaufman and a part of history worth preserving.
"There's a lot of people that travel around and visit these old jails," Hunt said. "I think this jail has the old sweatbox in it and it's amazing. You look at how prisoners were just packed in there. I just think it's a special part of history here and it can be a draw for the poor farm to get people out there and then we share the history of the poor farm when we get people out there to look at the jail."
During last week's meeting, the commissioners also approved the commissioners court meeting minutes for May 22, accepted the financial statement of the Kaufman County emergency services district number 6, requested disbursement of the unclaimed capital credits fund from the Texas comptroller of public accounts, accepted the collections department's monthly report for May 2019, and approved payroll and benefits, line item transfers and claims for payment. The commissioners also passed item four on the agenda which called for approving the memorandum of understanding to negotiate the medicare rate with Dallas Regional Medical Center and item three which called for the consideration of the approval of a ROW advanced funding agreement for the FM 148 bypass project between Kaufman County and TxDOT for $258,390.10.