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Galveston County
Galveston County Commissioners Court
by Garrett Bryce
Monday, November 20, 2017

Galveston County Commissioners Court today voted 3-2, with Ken Clark and Darrell Apffel opposed, to move forward with utilizing Bracewell, LLC as disclosure counsel for the issuance of bonds and refunding bonds.

The bonds include the issuance of $80 million in debt approved in three separate propositions on the November 7 election ballots. The county also plans to refinance existing bonds at a lower interest rate to provide cost savings.

Clark asked if there was any reason that the commissioners court could not select another firm for the services. Staff informed Clark that the process was already “pretty far along” in terms of disclosure for the bond. Listen (5:07)

Bracewell has served as disclosure counsel for other matters, including the 2009 bond issue. The work performed to this point regarding the 2017 bond issue has been done on a contingency basis.

The process has been moved quickly due to concerns of increases in interest rates in December and changes to the law concerning refunding of bonds in a tax law being considered by Congress.

The commissioners court voted unanimously to select Hilltop Securities as senior underwriter and Raymond James, Estrada and FTN (formerly Coastal Securities) as co-managers for the sale of bonds and bond refunding related to the November bond issue and refinancing of bonds.

County Judge Mark Henry originally made a motion to select Raymond James as senior underwriter, with Hilltop Securities as a co-manager. However, the motion died for lack of a second.

The commissioners court deferred action regarding presentation of a certificate from the Texas General Land Office for the closeout of Round 2 Hurricnae Ike Community Development Block Grant single-family housing as submitted by Professional Services.

The commissioners court voted 4-1, with Clark opposed, to defer appointments or reappointments to the Harris-Galveston Subsidence District.

The commissioners court deferred action regarding authorization to re-solicit bids for electrical service for the county.

The commissioners court voted unanimously to approve an out-of-policy request for the District Attorney’s Office to promote two Felony III positions and one Juvenile ADA position.

The commissioners court voted unanimously to award a contract to Comforts of Home Services, Inc. for the purchase mobile restroom trailers.

The commissioners court voted unanimously to award contracts for the purchase of asphalt, oils and emulsions.

Cleveland Asphalt Products, Inc. and Martin Resources Management, doing business as Martin Asphalt were awarded portions of the purchases for various items.

The motion included awarding an additional item, not originally included in the request, to Martin Asphalt.

The commissioners court voted unanimously to award a contract to Carnes Brothers Funeral Home, Inc. for indigent burial services.

The commissioners court voted unanimously to authorize the execution of an order making findings regarding damages sustained by the county caused by opioid abuse, and execution of a proposed contingent fee contract for representation of the county in a potential lawsuit to recover damages caused by same, and authorizing the county’s legal department to forward these documents together with previously approved questionnaire responses to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts for review and approval as required by statue, as discussed in closed session.

The commissioners court voted unanimously to approve an agreement to implement the second phase of a plan proposed by the Council of State Governments for action on findings and recommendations set out in the initial phase report to improve the county’s criminal justice system.

All other items were approved by unanimous vote. All members were present. Agenda

Remembering Jim Guidry

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