Commissioner’s Court approves needs assessment for Rockwall County Jail

(ROCKWALL, TX — June 13, 2018) During its regular meeting on Tuesday, June 12, the Rockwall County Commissioner’s Court took action on items involving a needs assessment of the Rockwall County Jail and a maintenance agreement for the county’s Interoperability Radio Network.

Rockwall County Jail Needs Assessment
The Commissioner’s Court held a lengthy discussion involving a proposed needs assessment from its selected consultant, Broaddus & Associates, for the Rockwall County Jail.

After receiving nine responses to its RFQ for a consultant to conduct a use/needs assessment for the Rockwall County Jail, the Commissioner’s Court selected to move into contract negotiations with Broaddus & Associates during a special meeting on May 23. At Tuesday’s meeting, Broaddus & Associates Vice President Scot Sanders, P.E., CEM presented the Court with a proposed price of $334,560 to conduct the needs assessment for the jail. The assessment would be a part of a seven-phase process to determine what renovations and upgrades to the existing facility are necessary in order to meet the current and future needs of the jail.

In the first three phases, Sanders said there would be a thorough assessment of the current jail facility, which will involve going through and inspecting the inside and outside of the jail from top to bottom, and an analysis to determine the projected needs of the jail.

“The needs assessment will tell you what you need now, what you will need in 20 years, and where you need to go to get there,” Sanders said. “Phases four, five and six will be comparing all the options as far as a redesign of the current facility or building a new facility.”

Sanders said it will take 16 weeks to complete all seven phases, and that the first three phases can be completed in time for the Court to determine whether to take the jail bond to the voters in November. The Court has been given a deadline by the bond company of August 12 if they choose to call a bond election for voters to consider in November.

“The essence of getting this needs assessment done in that timeframe is not really overridden by the fact that we want it to be done correctly, that we have all the input and information with the results of the study for this court to make a decision to have a bond issued in the November election or, as has been discussed, to push that out to May,” said Commissioner Lee Gilbert.

Commissioner David Magness also expressed doubts that the Court would not have enough information from the needs assessment to justify going to the voters in November.

Rockwall County Judge David Sweet made it clear that while a bond election was not being voted on at this time, he felt the approval of the needs assessment would not hinder the Court’s ability to make a decision to take a jail bond to the voters in November.

“Going back through the needs outlined in the RFQ, I think these seven items outlined by Broaddus match up to those needs,” Sweet said. “I firmly believe as far as Broaddus’s response to the RFQ that it was very clear that they paid specific attention to and identified what we were requesting. That being said, for me the end goal is to look at what’s necessary for us to be able to call for a future bond election. What do we need to make the decision in order to call for a bond election in November? For me, that’s an evaluation of the current facility and how that incorporates into the future plans. Simply put, what’s the future of that current building? It’s also a needs assessment for the future of the building, taking into consideration how that existing building fits into the equation, and then line out those needs in terms of dollars and cents. That creates what we take to the voters.

“I think that these seven items line up very good in terms of what has to be done on the front end of that for me to consider calling for a bond in November. I want to reiterate that we are not voting to call a bond election today. But I’m still going to be optimistic in that the approval of this proposed needs assessment doesn’t affect that timeline in my opinion at this time.”

Magness supported a motion made by Gilbert to approve Broaddus’s proposed price of $334,560 to conduct the needs assessment for the jail, with a notice to proceed not to exceed $147,284 to be expended in the FY 2018.

“I wholeheartedly agree that we need to do this needs assessment,” Magness said. “Based on that, and the fact that the motion on the floor is to get started and addresses the financial part of it, then I can support the motion. I think probably within the first four weeks of Broaddus’s work we’ll be able to make some sort of determination on a bond election.”

“I like your analysis of proceeding with the needs assessment,” Bailey agreed. “We’re not approving a bond with this motion. If we’re not comfortable come August, we’ll move on and consider calling a bond in 2019 if we need to. But right now, we have to get started on this needs assessment.”

The motion was unanimously approved by the Court.

Interoperability Radio Network Maintenance Agreement
The Commissioner’s Court also gave its unanimous approval of a 10-year, $4.6 million maintenance service contract with Harris Corporation and an addendum to the interlocal agreements with each municipality participating on the County’s Interoperability Radio Network.

The County currently has interlocal agreements with each of the cities (Rockwall, Heath, Fate, Royse City and McLendon-Chisholm) for the maintenance of their equipment on the network over the course of seven years. The addendum would change that to a period of 10 years.

The $4.6 million maintenance contract with Harris will be paid out by the County over a 10-year period.

Bailey said through the interlocal agreements, each of the cities will pay the County an annual fee for maintenance of their equipment and will be charged based on the number of portable radios, mobile radios and control stations they have. Any additional equipment the cities choose to add on to the network will be their financial responsibility, with the annual maintenance fee adjusted to reflect that additional equipment.

“There are options to opt out in each of those interlocal agreements that those municipalities have, and we have gone over those with them,” Bailey said. “The County is ultimately responsible for this $4.6 million contract with Harris. But we have those 10-year interlocal agreements with each of those cities, and I have full faith that each of them will stay with us during that.”

Bailey said the next step in the process will be to send the approved addendums to each of the cities to act on before the next Commissioners Court meeting on June 26. The County has been given a date to execute the final contract with Harris for the maintenance of all purchased equipment on or before June 30.

Other Action
The Commissioner’s Court also unanimously approved:

  • A Crossing Agreement with Farmers Electric Cooperative for overhead utility lines across North Fork Road for residential construction
  • The replat of 24.32 acres of land located at 1789 South Munson Road in Royse City
  • The revised Benefit Change Request Form with Envision Pharmaceutical Services effective August 1, 2018
  • Amendment #1 to the Health Services agreement with Southern Health Partners (‘SHP’) adding on-site care during holidays for inmate medical needs at the Detention Center
  • An agreement with Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. which allows them to utilize Rockwall County’s logo on County employee benefits presentations and handouts
  • The agreement with Kofile Preservation Inc. to perform preservation services for 17 volumes of County Clerk Vitals & Condo records
  • A renewal pricing supplement with TransUnion Risk and Alternative Data Solutions, Inc. (TRADS) at $150 a month for online access for law enforcement purposes effective October 1, 2018
  • Out-of-state travel for the Elections Administrator to attend training classes in Fort Myers, Florida July 6-9, 2018
  • Advertising by Public Notice for Bids on Road Construction Materials for the Road & Bridge Department pursuant to Local Government Code Section 262.023
  • Renewing or rebidding contracts for exterminator services, grounds maintenance and vending machine service
  • Authorizing repair services for hail-damaged County vehicles, with no repairs being made until Commissioners Court approval of the 2019 budget
  • An amendment to the master contract with Bureau Veritas North America, Inc. (BV) adding additional plan review and inspection services
  • The Request for Proposal and advertising by Public Notice for road improvements to a designated portion of the subdivision known as Longbranch Community

Submitted press release.

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