Commissioners want speed limit reduced
By Gerard MacCrossan
The Daily Times

Published April 25, 2006
Kerr County Commissioners decided public safety was a good enough reason for the four Monday to ask the Texas Department of Transportation to lower the speed limit on Texas 27 between Kerrville and Center Point.

A Center Point resident, Debbie Dreibrodt, died two weeks ago and another woman was seriously injured when their vehicles collided on that stretch of highway. Pct. 2 Commissioner Bill Williams, whose constituency includes that area, said he has received many phone calls asking for his support to cut the speed limit.

“It seems to me that stretch lends itself to higher speeds than are necessary,” Williams said.

The speed limit is posted at 70 miles per hour from Al Mooney Road to just west of Center Point.

Pct. 3 Commissioner Jonathan Letz, who uses the road to travel from his home in Comfort to the courthouse, seconded Williams’ motion to ask for TxDOT to cut the speed limit along the whole stretch.

Letz said, too, that he thinks changing the road’s existing two-lane layout is on TxDOT’s long-term plan, but it isn’t going to happen soon.

The commissioners voted 4-0 to submit a letter asking for the change to TxDOT.

Juvenile facility

The commissioners court voted unanimously on Monday to change the Kerr County Juvenile Facility’s operating status to chapter 62 of the Texas Human Resources Code and eliminate the board of trustees. The court established the board last year to comply with chapter 63 of the code, when it was operating the facility for long-term detention.

County Judge Pat Tinley brought the matter to commissioners to ensure compliance with state law since KCJF no longer is being operated as a long-term detention facility.

Earlier, commissioners went into a session of the trustees but took no action to reverse their decision last week to move KCJF operations into the newer building. Tinley suggested the vote be rescinded to ensure the building does not lose its certification and is grandfathered status under Texas Juvenile Probation Commission rules. Because the facility was built prior to the existing TJPC standards, it is grandfathered for some requirements, such as plumbing in all cells.

KCJF administrator Kevin Stanton said he checked Monday morning with TJPC and said the building is certified through January, unless the juvenile board asks to decertify it.

“At re-certification in January, the juvenile board would be required to inspect and re-certify it,” he said.

According to Stanton, the older building only is used for laundry. Food services now are being contracted out, he said.

Outside the court session, Stanton said the facility was holding 11 juveniles in detention Monday morning. The staff has been reduced to 16 full-time personnel and six part-timers, Stanton said.

Also Monday, the juvenile board voted to appoint assistant chief juvenile probation officer Jesse Herrera as acting chief juvenile probation officer. They also voted to advertise for a permanent replacement for Stanton, who was terminated from that post so that he could become administrator.