County to participate in Hillsboro TIRZ

Editor: Shannon Cottongame

February 22, 2023

The Hill County Commissioners Court agreed to participate in the Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone (TIRZ) established by the City of Hillsboro for the outlet mall property and selected inmate medical services providers during a meeting held Tuesday, February 14.

The City of Hillsboro established the TIRZ to support its goal of encouraging redevelopment of the mall property. The designation allows property tax revenue that exceeds what would be collected on the current base value of the mall property to be placed in a Tax Increment Fund. That fund will be used to support infrastructure upgrades and other costs associated with new development at the site for a period of 10 years.

The county agreed to participate at a rate of 100% over the 10-year period. Commissioners also appointed Precinct 4 Commissioner Martin Lake and County Attorney David Holmes as representatives to serve on the TIRZ Board.

Three companies responded to the county’s recent request for proposals from inmate medical providers. Southern Health Partners, which has been the county’s provider for the past 13 years, submitted a proposal, along with Advanced Correctional Healthcare and Diamond Pharmacy Services.

After reviewing the proposals and discussions with the sheriff’s office, the court selected Advanced Correctional Healthcare, which provides services in jails and juvenile facilities at 350 sites throughout the country.

The company’s services will include a nurse, site manager and practitioner hours, along with mental health professionals on site 10 hours a week and telemedicine capabilities. The company also offers education for any employees that come into contact with inmates.

Diamond Pharmacy Services was selected as the pharmacy provider after a review of their proposal indicated that the county could save money by switching to the company.

The court voted to advertise for county supplies, including items like fuel, oil, road materials and service contracts. The county must seek bids on any supplies that are likely to exceed a cost of $50,000 per year.

Commissioners approved advertising for sealed bids to sell property located at 200 East Franklin Street, 208 East Franklin Street and 210 East Franklin Street. The county has been attempting to finalize the sale of the property, but lawyers for the purchaser have requested that the property be put out for bid with all possible addresses first.

The court approved cancellation of a contract with Tyler Technologies for its ExecuTime software. The program was purchased when the last county treasurer was in office and was intended to help track employees’ time, but it has not been successful. The company will give the county credit for the purchase to be put towards other Tyler products that are in use.

The court heard a presentation from McKinstry, the company that has assisted the county in upgrading to cost-saving, energy-efficient equipment. County Judge Justin Lewis said that the chillers that cool the courthouse are at the end of their expected useful life and the county needs to start planning to replace them.

According to McKinstry, getting parts for chiller repairs is taking about 30 weeks at the moment, and it’s taking a year or more for new chillers to be delivered due to supply chain issues. With more efficient chillers, McKinstry expects that the county can save approximately $10,000 per year. The court approved using McKinstry for the project and will review a financing plan at a future meeting.

Commissioners also approved two proposals from Pacheco Koch/Westwood Professional Services regarding survey work for two bridge projects in Precinct 2. The bridges are being replaced through a federal program administered by the Texas Department of Transportation at no cost to the county.

A memorandum of understanding was approved between the Hill County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) and Mount Calm Independent School District. HCSO Chief Deputy Scott Robinson said that Mount Calm ISD is in the process of establishing its own police force, and the mutual aid agreement explains that the entities can provide assistance to one another. It does not commit any funds from the county.

Commissioners amended a previously approved agreement between HCSO and Chicago Motors. The sheriff’s office planned to trade in four Chevy Tahoes but will now trade three due to one vehicle experiencing engine failure.

The court considered action on a road in Precinct 1 at the request of Commissioner Jim Holcomb. The county will send letters to property owners on Tidwell Drive between Ash Ridge and Waupoo Trail off of FM 2604 of a possible road closure to be considered at a future meeting.

The court observed and recorded the completion of training for county officials, including required continuing education completed by District Clerk Marchel Eubank and Public Information Act and public records training completed by County Auditor Sahib Rao.

Commissioners also approved a minor plat for Parker Creek Ranch, which involves the division of a single lot south of Itasca, and a final plat for Riley’s Estates, involving about six lots averaging around an acre and a half each and located at 5530 FM 933 in Whitney.

In open forum, a resident of Precinct 1 spoke to the court about HCR 1207 between Whitney and Blum. He said that in conversations with the previous commissioner, residents were told that the entire county road would be chip sealed and would be completed in the spring. With a new commissioner now in office, residents wanted to bring the issue to his attention in hopes that the project is still on track.

The court’s next regular meeting will be held Tuesday, February 28, at 8:30 a.m. at the Hill County Courthouse.

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