New Brown County Commissioners face first item of business

POSTED: 5:47 PM Jan 02 2013
BROWNWOOD, Texas -

Brown County's newest commissioners hit the ground running Wednesday.

After being sworn in, they had to get straight to work.

One of their biggest items is a broken heater in the Brown County Jail.

It's forcing jailors to pay attention to the weather.

The B wing in the jail is the area affected by the broken heater.

The heater went out on December 31.

Most inmates are still being housed there because the temperature is above the required 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Only one cell has been evacuated, and those inmates were relocated within the jail.

Wednesday morning Brown County officials gathered in Commissioners Court for the swearing in of officials elected in November.

Two new commissioners took Precinct 1 and 3's sea

"Yes, there's always going to be a learning process in any kind of new endeavor," said Gary Worley, Precinct 1 County Commissioner.

"I feel humbled I'll tell ya, you know, just the people trusting me with this," said Wayne Shaw, Precinct 3 County Commissioner.

After officials were sworn in, Sheriff Bobby Grubbs informed the commissioners about the broken heater in the jail.

Judge Ray West said this is an emergency agenda item, that allows the sheriff's office to move forward and purchase a heater.

"There's no way to completely shut the wing off, it's just the housing area. You can shut the housing area off, but not the hallways," said Sheriff's Office Captain of Operations Tony Aaron.

Since the item was not on the agenda for the meeting Wednesday, it will be finalized Monday in the regularly scheduled commissioner's meeting.

If the temperature in cells drops below 65 degrees, Captain Aaron said there are enough beds in the jail to relocate the inmates.

The Brown County Jail is required to keep occupied cells between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Captain Aaron said they are ordering a new heater Thursday, but they must allow 5-7 days for the heater to be installed.

The cost of this project is $12,259.

Also in the commissioner's meeting, the burn ban for Brown County was approved to remain in effect.