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Commissioners approve purchase of lights for jail


County commissioners approved the purchase and installation of seven emergency backup lights for the Clay County Sheriff’s Office during Monday’s regular meeting.

Nov. 14, Sheriff Kenny Lemons brought the lack of emergency lighting in the facility to the attention of commissioners. Lemons said that with an aging generator, the lights are a necessity. Monday, he said the Texas Commission on Jail Standards most likely requires them for new construction, but that the facility was grandfathered in to prior standards due to its age.

Included in the purchase of 120-volt battery backup lights will be seven tamper-proof units at a cost of $477 each and three general-purpose lights at $312 each. Installation is included in the price, said Lemons.

During a recent power outage, the backup generator at the sheriff’s office failed, leaving cells, corridors and offices in the dark.

In the past two meetings, commissioners and Lemons have discussed possible fixes for the generator situation, including the use of a temporary generator of which the county already has access to, or purchasing a new generator.

One option may be the purchase of a generator fueled by natural gas, which would be connected to a meter and would not require refueling. The current generator runs on diesel.

Commissioners approved a memorandum of understanding between Clay County and the Abilene Regional Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse to provide prevention and intervention programs.

Commissioners approved a resolution for the Indigent Defense Program. The resolution is required in keeping the county eligible for grants from the Texas Indigent Defense Commission, designed to improve criminal defense for indigents in the county. County Auditor Ramona Seward said the county receives approximately $9,000 each year.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Johnny Gee said dirt will be hauled to the courthouse lawn in the next few days to level areas damaged during the hanging of Christmas lights on the 1884 building. The ground was hard when the light hanging began, but soon softened with fall rains. A lift used during the process left deep ruts. The lights will be turned on Saturday night, during the Henrietta and Clay County Chamber of Commerce’s Clay County Christmas event.

In other business, commissioners:

Approved a resolution allowing employees to pay into Roth investments through payroll.

Approved all accounts, financial reports and the payment of bills.

Approved payment of bills related to Clay County Memorial Hospital.


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The Pioneer Sentinel is an online newspaper designed to deliver the news of Clay County, Texas, in a concise and community-friendly format.

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