Jail building flooring, camera equipment, and a vehicle for a school resource officer were items totaling more than $46,000 that elected officials Monday unanimously approved for the use of the Wharton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO).

The purchase of a 2021 Dodge Durango for approximately $36,000 was approved by the Wharton County Commissioners Court, and will be used by a deputy who will work as a school resource officer (SRO) beginning this fall. The commissioners last month unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Louise and Boling school districts to work with an SRO. The Louise board of trustees approved the MOU last month. This week, Sheriff Shannon Srubar will find out if Boling ISD’s board of trustees will approve a similar MOU.

Boling ISD had its meeting Tuesday, and although Srubar said, he didn’t want to speak for the school district, officials did reach out to him about utilizing an SRO. He said ultimately, it’s up to the trustees to make the decision. 

Srubar said it has been difficult to locate a “police-ready vehicle.” The Dodge Durango at the Donaldson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram car dealership in Silsbee was the only vehicle of its kind that could immediately be used by a law enforcement officer. The WCSO will be utilizing proceeds from a recent GovDeal auction.

Commissioners also approved to ratify a $9,000 purchase for new flooring that was installed Monday in several areas of the Wharton County Jail. The company, El Campo Carpet One, placed new flooring in two offices, a restroom, and a laundry room.

Sgt. Stephanie Schoof with the WCSO’s Criminal Investigation Division will make use of a new Nikon D7500 DSLR camera with 18-55mm and 70-33mm lenses. The purchase from the WCSO’s annual operating budget, includes a 128 GB card, tripod, flash, and a bag.

In other action, commissioners unanimously:

• approved the Wharton Lions Club’s request to place parking for “Veterans only” signs in county parking lots, including two at the annex    building, two at the Wharton Library branch, and one at the courthouse;

• approved use of the courthouse grounds for “Third Thursday” sponsored by the Wharton Downtown Business Association from 4-8 p.m.;

• approved preliminary Francis Macha family subdivision plat;

• approved a $3,875 laser and receiver purchase from Four Point Solutions with funds from Special Road & Bridge Fund Precinct 2;

• approved to obtain bids for bridge replacement and construction on CR 213 at Sandy Branch using funds from each of the four precincts’  Road Paving Option Services (contingency);

• approved to transfer $37,500 from each of the four precincts’ Road Paving Optional Services (contingency) to Special Road & Bridge Fund   Precinct 2-Road Materials;

• approved to secure bids for construction of the Louise Sewer Improvement Project-Community Development Block Grant;

• approved to obtain bids for fuel, chemical application, road materials, and oil-based road materials;

• approved a release of interest in Hurricane Harvey insurance settlement funds with Hlavinka Equipment Company.

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