The Gray County Commissioners Court met on March 31 for a regularly scheduled meeting. The meeting started out with the approval of the previous meeting’s minutes. Bills to be paid amounted to a $295 ARPA Fund charge for the WatchGuard project for the Gray County Sheriff’s Office. There were no line-item transfers or budget amendments. Line Item 4, ‘Consider Approving Amended and Restated Economic Development Agreement between the PEDC and KTS Texas #1, LLC, Successor in Interest to Keystone Tower Systems, Inc.’ Clay Rice, Executive Director of PEDC was in attendance to present the agreement to the court. The new agreement has already been approved by the EDC and the City of Pampa on two separate readings. The EDC has to present the new agreement to the City of Pampa Commissioners on two separate occasions to be reviewed and voted on. Both occasions were approved, but it still has to be approved by county commissioners. The new agreement extends the grant agreement between the EDC and Keystone for two years, the original timeline was given. The extension and reinstatement are due in part to Covid restricting some growth by the company.
“The idea for this grant is that Keystone would hire 100 additional employees, they currently have 57,” Rice said. “The extension we are giving them is for December 31 of 2024 to complete the additional hires at their Pampa location.”
The agreement is a forgivable loan that will be given to Keystone on the completion of their new hires. Judge Porter has read over the new agreement before being presented to the court, but the court must now look it over and call for a vote. Commissioner Haley made the first request to Rice, asking for the new agreement papers to be overlooked to ensure the wordage is how it should be before any approval is given on the matter.
“We need to make sure we know what we’re agreeing to in this,” Haley said. “I’m not saying we aren’t doing something, we just have to do our job, and reading this and understanding what we’re doing is part of our job.”
Commissioner Baggerman asked Rice to read the resolution to the court, the resolution states that the PEDC will pay Keystone $500,000 on the condition and completion of hiring the 100th full-time employee before the given date (December 31, 2024). The PEDC ran a public notice announcing the agreement they were seeking to reinstate. The first agreement was reached in October 2020 with the county commissioner’s approving it on the 15th of September 2020. Rice informed the court that Keystone is continuing with its expansion and growth into Pampa. The only changes to be made in the new agreement were date changes to the agreement and adding an extension. The item was approved, allowing PEDC to enter the agreement with Keystone.
Item 5, ‘Consider Updated Gray County Sheriff’s Department Policy and Procedures’. Lt. Colby Brown was present to speak to the court about the changes the GCSO is undergoing.
“The last several months we have been working on updating our policies,” Brown said. “These [policies] should be updated every two years due to changes with legislature and policing changes. Law enforcement is now set up to be restricted. The policies themselves can still change a bit, as we feel out what fits best for us. But our use of force policies and other similar policies won’t change once set in place. We were recommended a policy for an eight-month field training, we will never be in a position where we can have someone do that. So we’ve changed that policy for an on-the-job type of training. There are several chapters in this that have not been put in place yet. Procedures can change with time. This is our best viable option, there are companies that will see us their services through risk attorneys. The future of what we’re wanting to do with the GCSO is to become an accredited agency like the Pampa Police Department. This would take several years to do. The changes we are making now are the start of reaching that goal. Updating the old policy manual which has been a mix of things, is a good first step. We are taking things from the departments that are running well and implementing them.”
The item was postponed until the court has time to look over and evaluate the changes. Item 6, ‘Consider Idemia LiveScan System Contract for Gray County Jail’ was postponed due to the fact no one was present to represent the jail or speak on the matter. Item 7, ‘Consider Approval of Transfer of Perry Lefors Hanger Lot #52 from Raymond Henry to Ron Unruh’ was approved.
Item 8, ‘Consider Declaring Regulator at Perry Lefors Airport Surplus’ and Item 9 ‘Consider Inter-local Agreement with Moore County for Purchase of Regulator from Perry Lefors Airport’ worked hand-in-hand. Item 8 was approved, meaning Item 9 could be voted on. Item 9 is an agreement with Moore County to purchase the now surplus regulator from Perry Lefors for a fair market value of $1,000. Moore County is responsible for the pickup of the regulator. The airport has one regulator now, which is operational but in need of maintenance. Both Item 8 and Item 9 were approved.
Item 10, ‘Consider Renewal of Inter-local Agreements with the City of Lefors for Assistance with Municipal Controlled Burns and Road Maintenance’ will remain intact for a year upon approval, unless, one party gives a 30-day notice of leaving the agreement. The court decided to renew this agreement every year, not multiple years at a time, to make sure each year they are looking at the agreement terms without letting the agreement carry on automatically.
After Item 10, the court entered into executive session under section 551.072 of Texas Government Code: Deliberations About Real Property.
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