LAMPASAS — The area’s recent ice storm caused some delay and confusion among residents and county employees who wondered if county offices would be closed.
As a result, Lampasas County commissioners Monday discussed possibly streamlining the county’s bad weather determination and announcement policy. The current policy allows each department head to determine if a weather situation, such as last week’s ice storm, is an emergency situation for employees or if they can safely drive to work.
“I was getting texts, private messages saying, ‘What does the judge want us to do?,’” said Diane Miller, administrative assistant to County Judge Wayne Boultinghouse. “It’s like they still want to come to (the judge) because you are the chief administrator of the county.”
Streamlining the policy also would eliminate confusion about court dates. On Friday, district court remained in session in spite of icy roads, but many residents with court dates called asking if their presence was still required.
“As long as the county was open, we had to tell them, ‘Yes, you have to be here,’” said Terri Cox, district court clerk. “Our staff needed to be in place because we still had court forum, but the (district) judge was 2½ hours late getting there.”
Several county employees recounted their experiences sliding on icy roads while driving to work, while others noted their drives were uneventful. There also was some confusion about employee payment procedures during weather delays.
Commissioners agreed to study the bad weather procedures used by other counties and to revisit the proposed policy change at their Feb. 10 meeting.
Commissioners reinstated a 90-day countywide burn ban, effective immediately.
A Texas of Department of Transportation’s road report was reviewed. According to the report, no Lampasas bridges will receive repairs or upgrades in the next four years. Commissioners expressed concern about the steel-covered bridge on County Road 2925. Because of the bridge’s shortened length, TxDOT does not categorize it as a “bridge,” and the structure was deemed stable.
A new 30-mph speed limit was assigned to CR 2998. The new speed limit is only for Lampasas County and is not in effect when the road goes through neighboring Coryell and Hamilton counties.
Commissioners clarified the county does not have equipment to sand roads or clear ice. Only TxDOT has that equipment, they said.