Bosque County Commissioners met Monday, April 12, and heard concerned citizens’ opinions on the use of biosolids near their property, in addition to county business with the Bosque County Sheriff’s Office and the COVID-19 update.
Biosolid Dumping Issue
“Things like camping were a disaster, because the odor was so bad. This has caused property owners to consider selling property. The odor can be smelled from Highway 174.” – Boyd, speaking of the human waste dumping.
Both Boyd and Teresa Hamilton requested future discussion and action from Bosque County Commissioners for the use of biosolids, or treated human waste, on a ranch near their home. Biosolids, sewage, and odors affect home and business, they stated. Both stated that they had spoken with the owner of the Houston Ranch at Brazos Point, who confirmed using biosolids for fertilizer.
According to the owner and those present, the biosolids were obtained from the City of Fort Worth. The University of Texas at Austin has been tracing COVID-19 hotspots from biosolids from wastewater treatment facilities, using human waste as a way to track the virus. The group requested that the court look into ordinances or a resolution that bans or prohibits the use of biosolids as fertilizer. At a state level, the action is legal.
“We are asking at least if you can do a temporary ban on it. We’re concerned about well contamination. There’s a lot of concern with heavy rains.” -Teresa. “I don’t think it’s fair for large cities to take their waste and dump it in other counties.”
Jail Status Report
Commissioners heard the jail status report from Sheriff Trace Hendricks. A total of 50 inmates are being housed at the jail. A total of 27 are Bosque County arrests, while 23 inmates housed now are from Hamilton and Coryell counties. To date, the county has received $26,000 from housing of county inmates.
The court opened food and janitorial products bids for the Bosque County Jail. Ben E. Keith, Bimbo Bakeries, UniMark Corporation, Complete Supply, Inc and Performance Food Service all submitted bids. The bids were opened, with action to be taken at a future meeting.
The court tabled action on Sheriff’s employees and extending vacation and personal time for BSCO employees who are in danger of lsoing unused time due to extenuating circumstances for a period of 60 days.
County Treasurer Carla Sigler presented her report to the court. The treasurer’s monthly report show general fund containg $5.8 million, and received the quarterly investment report. Commissioners approved to pay claims, salaries and wages against precinct funds. The court also received and filed the County Treasurer’s Quarterly Investment report. Line item transfers were approved as well.
Emergency Management Coordinator Chris Anderson presented the COVID-19 update to the court with the number of cases over the weekend.
“Over the weekend, we had two new cases,” Anderson said, before noting that 1,645 diagnoses were the county totals since the beginning of pandemic. A total of 18 active cases with 1,594 that have recovered, and 33 deaths were reported. “Again, recovered cases have outpaced new ones.”
A total of 5,372 have received the first dose. Those that have been fully vaccinated are 3,897, or 25.6%, of those over the age of 16 in Bosque County. National number is close to 45% that have received vaccination. When locations like Goodall-Witcher Healthcare, Albrecht’s Pharmacy, and Brookshire’s open vaccines, they have 24 hours to use them before they have to trash them. The county is primarily receiving the Moderna vaccine. The court extended the local disaster declaration for another seven days.
The court heard discussion regarding an interlocal agreewment with and between Bosque County Precinct 1 and the City of Meridian. If the city needs materials, Precinct 1 will assist with trucks and applicable equipment.
The court received and filed a certificate of training from the 2021 County Court Assistants Conference for Pam Browning. Monthly reports for County Attorney Natalie Koehler, County Clerk Tabatha Ferguson, County Treasurer Carla Sigler, District Clerk Juanita Miller, Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 Jeff Hightower, and Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 James Zander were filed and accepted.
This story has been updated to include a correction. A previous version of this article included the total number of Bosque County inmates as 27, not 50. 23 out-of-county inmates are being housed.