Monday, September 19, 2011

Court has no facts on building of new Pct. 1 barn

Buying property, construction in the dark

Bulletin: Later in the afternoon, County Judge Jim Lewis' office furnished details of the $25,500 design contract with Abacus to design the building, an 85 x 130 ft. barn.

Reporting by R.S. Gates
Story by The Legendary Jim Parks

Waco – The Highway Department bought the McLennan County Precinct 1 barn on I-35.

They're widening the road there.

Under state law, local governments may discuss all acquisitions or disposals of real property in executive session. No public disclosure or discussion is required for such matters.

The same goes for litigation, which includes condemnation proceedings.

Now, the Court is to consider authorization of a contract with “Abacus” for some purpose, ostensibly to erect a new barn to be located in Lorena.

Apparently, such a matter does not require review of the purchasing department.

According to County Purchasing Director Ken Bass, “I do not have documentation on “Contract with Abacus”.

The item was added to the agenda for the Tuesday, September 20 meeting of the Commissioners' Court by Judge Jim Lewis' Administrative Assistant, Lynne Lockwood.

In response to a request for further information, she responded by e-mail, saying, “Scott, in response to your below additional request for information relative to the Contract with Abacus, as of this time, Commissioners Snell’s office has not provided us with any information responsive to your request. There was no documentation provided for the E-3 item on the original agenda - we just noticed I’d made a typo and posted a supplemental to correct the precinct number – also without any documentation from Commissioner Snell’s office.”

No one has asked how much money the state paid for the old location, nor how much money was paid for the new location, or from whom it was acquired, and for what price.

The Legendary plans be at the McLennan County Courthouse to ask Precinct 1 Commissioner Kelly Snell those questions – on camera.

Who knows? Maybe the cow will jump over the moon, and we'll be in the perfect spot to get the picture for the jive at five.

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