CLAUDE, TX (KFDA) - The Armstrong County Commissioners Court voted 4 to 1 in favor of a special committee to do the groundwork needed to make a decision on the jail and 911 services in the county.
“A council-person, Justice of the Peace, Chief Deputy, and our Treasurer is chairperson to look this over,” said Armstrong County Judge Hugh Reed.
Judge Reed believes a committee would be more productive than putting the item on the commissioners’ court agenda for every meeting.
“That would really delay the process,” he said. “This way, with a committee, they can do their own investigations, meet and come together with a set of facts and present that to commissioners court so we can make an intelligent decision.”
The committee will bring together both city and county perspectives.
“You always want to build a better mousetrap, you always want to look at what you’re doing, see if there’s a way to do it better,” said City Secretary for the City of Claude Howard Heath. “I think the creation of this four-person committee that does include one of our city council members is a good start. We want to ultimately do what’s best for both the county, city, and most importantly we want to do what’s best for the citizens of Armstrong county and the city of Claude.”
Hartley and Briscoe counties are two counties in the Texas Panhandle that don't have county jails of their own.
Hartley County shares a jail with Dallam County and Briscoe County has four contracts with city and county jails such as Tulia and Childress.
“We would need to have a contract with who would do what, how much it would cost, and that both parties are willing to do it,” said Reed.
County Treasurer and Chairman of the committee Susan Overcast said they plan to meet sometime before the end of next week to discuss the committee’s objectives.
She said the committee’s research could take two to three months before they would present options to the commissioners’ court.
“All competent people coming from different aspects,” said Reed. “Everyone I mentioned has the community’s best interest and I’m really looking forward to seeing the report.”