Above: Moore County Commissioner Milton Pax, left, and Commissioner Daniel Garcia sign documents at their meeting Monday.

By Steve Ramos

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The Moore County Maintenance Department had three items on the Moore County Commissioners Court agenda Monday, but the commissioners didn’t approve them. Ballard Plumbing submitted a bid of $4,530.48 to replace six toilets on the first floor of the courthouse, a price some of the commissioners questioned. Commissioner Lynn Cartrite asked why the maintenance department couldn’t install the toilets, and Maintenance Supervisor Miguel Rivera explained the installation was more complicated than just installing a toilet. Water would have to be shut off to the first floor, and he preferred to have a crew, such as Ballard’s, on hand in case something happened during the installation that required an experienced plumbing team.

The bid from Ballard Plumbing was the only one submitted for the plumbing work, and the commissioners said they wanted to see a second bid.

Rivera also requested the commissioner’s permission to buy a Billy Goat blower for $1,425 and a track saw for $725. He told the commissioners he needed the saw to do more precise cutting that wouldn’t splinter the wood. Commissioner Len Sheets made a motion to approve the purchase of the blower, but there was no second. None of the commissioners made a motion to approve the purchase of the saw. They did, however, approve several purchasing requests from the sheriff’s department and the Moore County Emergency Operations Center.

The commissioners approved the sheriff’s department’s request to buy a booking printer for the jail for $699 with a three-year warranty for an additional $308. The money will come out of State Criminal Alien Assistance Program grant funds. The sheriff’s department also will buy a natural gas-powered generator to replace the diesel-powered one that has been failing. Sheriff Bo DeArmand told the commissioners the generator would cost about $40,000 and would be bought with the assistance of Panhandle Regional Planning Commission and Sate Criminal Alien Assistance Program grant funds.

The sheriff’s department’s third request to buy five body armor vests for $2,875 also was approved.

The EOC submitted two purchase requests, and both were approved. The department will buy a truck mount LED tower light for $2,782.10 and Orion damage assessment software for $2,500. EOC Coordinator Tommy Brooks said the software would allow damage assessment to be completed quickly so emergency managers can coordinate and deploy resources to a location in most need, and it can be used on smart phones and tablets.

“It will also identify every special needs in an area in the event of a disaster,” Brooks said, referring to individuals who have been identified with a special need. “And at the end of the day it prints out all the FEMA forms. During the Cactus tornado, we spent days working on the FEMA reports.”

The Moore County Commissioners Court also took action on nine personnel issues. The commissioners approved the promotion and hiring of several county employees, including:

  • Norma Morales, who transferred from dispatch to deputy clerk with a pay change from $19.27 an hour to $3,068.78 a month.
  • The hiring of Joe Marquez as sheriff’s department office manager with a starting pay of $2,868.78 a month, with a $50 raise every month for one year.
  • The hiring of Tabitha Spencer as telecommunications officer at $18.27 an hour with a 50 cents raise every six months for one year.
  • Appointment of Shannon Landers to the Moore County Child Protective Services Board to finish the vacated term of Suzanne DiPiazza which expires Aug. 31, 2017.
  • The hiring of Kevin Heaton as summer help at the Moore County Airport at $8.50 an hour.
  • The hiring of Lydia Soto in the district attorney’s office at $2,787.68.
  • The hiring of Ethan Foran as summer help with Road and Bridge Department at 8.25 an hour.
  • The promotion of Russel Brooks from truck driver to equipment operator at $23.57 an hour.
  • The transfer of Lisbet Padron from part-time deputy county clerk to full-time deputy county clerk at $3,068.78 a month.

The commissioners also accepted sealed bids for seven pieces of county equipment they want to sell. They include:

  • 1986 Caterpillar 3208 to Burkett Drilling for $500.
  • 1994 John Deere riding lawn mower to Peter Grobler for $365.
  • 1999 Chevrolet 1500 to Colt Farni for $700.
  • 2004 Polaris 600 4-wheeler AWD to Travis Smith for $1,000.
  • 2006 Buick Ranier 4WD to Eunice Escamilla for $500.
  • 2010 F150 4WD to Kenneth Farni for $3,501.
  • 1998 White covered top C&M Livestock trailer to Travis Smith for $351.

The commissioners didn’t receive a bid for a 1965 Standard steel asphalt tanker, and it will be put out for bid again.

The commissioners also approved the collections contract with the county’s various taxing entities.