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2010-01-14

County sighs with relief, judge’s blood pressure WNL

By Judith Pannebaker

Describing Wednesday, Dec. 30, as “a good day,” Bandera County Judge Richard Evans added, “My blood pressure’s going to be a lot better now.”

Evans referred to a unanimous vote of commissioners that provided an all-important “final acceptance” of the Bandera County Jail and Justice Center and the road and bridge facilities.

During the special meeting in December, architect Wayne Gondeck, AIA, of DRG Architects, brought a final pay application from WG Yates and Sons Construction Company of $4,972 for work completed within the last month. He also requested that the court release the final retainage fee of $52,500.

Yates Construction Vice President Randy Powell, who also served as construction manager, noted, “It’s a good product and I appreciated the judge’s leadership and direction.”

“This is something the citizens can be proud of,” Evans commented.

Assuring commissioners that the company, which is based in San Antonio, would stand behind all applicable warranties, Powell added, “We enjoyed working with Bandera County and we would like to maintain a good relationship with the county.” In the next breath, he added, however, “We’re proud of the finished product but we’re glad to be done and I’m sure you are, too.”

Echoing Powell, Gondeck offered, “I’ve also enjoyed working with Bandera County. With county officials, I always knew where I stood. You say what you mean and I appreciate straight talk. We’ve ended up with a product that will serve the community well.”

Gondeck indicated that all of the items on the punch list had been completed - except for the no-show furniture. “Snow has hampered the process,” he said, adding that the company could not confirm a delivery date as late as the morning of the special meeting.

Gondeck continued, “Warranty issues will be worked on and perfected as we go along. Maintenance is the responsibility of the county. All I ask is that we be kept in the loop. Communication must continue.”

“I have a big loop,” Evans noted drolly.
As discussions turned to money, Precinct 2 Commissioner Bobby Harris asked Gondeck if the issue with the road and bridge parking lot had been settled. Both Gondeck and Precinct 3 Commissioners Richard Keese confirmed that the problem had been resolved.

“It looks good,” Keese said. “The contractors did substantial work over the weekend.”

With Harris’ appeasement, commissioners finally accepted both facilities as complete. Evans noted, “There won’t be another jail built while I’m judge. There’s only one to a customer.”

Even though she had been promised furnishings, fittings and fixtures by Christmas, as of Tuesday, Jan. 12, District Clerk Tammy Kneuper remained without the accouterments necessary to relocate from the Bandera County Courthouse to the new facility at 3360 Highway 173 North.

However, it was rumored that benches for the district court had arrived the previous day.