By Hayley Kappes

Killeen Daily Herald

BELTON – The District Courthouse expansion project was discussed at the Bell County Commissioners Court meeting Monday morning.

The court approved for the county auditor to advertise for bids seeking a general contractor to construct the Bell County multi-use facility, which will be located adjacent to the Justice Complex on Loop 121 in Belton.

The facility, which already has funds allocated for its construction from bond issues, will be designated as a storage place for grounds and maintenance equipment; county clerk, district clerk and juvenile probation records; and for some evidence collected by the sheriff's department.

Judge Jon Burrows said lack of storage for county entities has been a continuous problem.

It's also a matter of convenience that the county clerk, district clerk and juvenile probation records are kept in the same place.

Burrows said the county plans on converting certain documents to digital files, similar to what other Texas counties have done with their records.

The court also approved Monday a final change order on the Bell County Jail project between the county and Skanska USA Building Inc. for catch-ups on prior administration costs.

The order will cover extension of pipe rails beneath day rooms and credit for other maintenance resources and projects.

Other commissioners court action:

No action was made on the existing outdoor burn ban. Fire Marshal Steve Casey gave an update on the nearly 1,000-acre blaze that occurred near Holland on Thursday.

Burrows said it's important that people realize how dangerous it is to discard cigarettes, as the existing dry conditions make an opportunity for a fire to start.

The court approved a memorandum of understanding between the City of Temple and the Bell County Sheriff's Office that allows their office to use the Temple Police Department's firing range.

The court declared the Bell County Expo Center's old marquee sign as surplus and authorized its sale as scrap metal.

Contact Hayley Kappes at or (254) 501-7559.

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