By Don Bolding

Killeen Daily Herald

BELTON – At the request of the Bluebonnet Club, the Central Texas affiliate of the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs, Bell County commissioners Monday declared October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Bell County.

Club president Aliceann Wallace of Belton made the request, accompanied by past Bluebonnet Club president Dorothy Boutwell; Michelle Farrell, executive director of the Children's Advocacy Center; Suzanne Armour, Families in Crisis outreach coordinator; and Virginia Wallace and Karen Schwane. Wallace said she would make a similar request to the Temple City Council Thursday and was contacting Killeen city officials to get on the council agenda there.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence states on its Web site that the observance originated with the first Day of Unity in 1981 to bring together battered women's advocates nationwide.

The resolution Wallace presented Monday noted incidents of domestic violence have been rising the past few years and that "heightening the public's awareness may help to reduce domestic violence." It said the October observance is national, based on the annual Domestic Violence Awareness Month Commemorative Legislation passed by Congress every year since 1989.

"We're hoping to get more and more clubs involved," Wallace said.

She noted that Bell County ranks sixth in the nation in reported incidents of domestic violence. She noted that Families in Crisis has started a shelter in Temple smaller than the 60-bed facility in Killeen and expressed appreciation to commissioner Eddy Lange and county attorney Rick Miller for assistance in finding a site.

The Texas Association of Women's Clubs is an affiliate of the General Federation of Women's Clubs.

Also at the meeting, Bell County Fire Marshal Steve Casey announced his office's fifth annual smoke detector giveaway in its "Project Safe Home" in cooperation with the Bell County Fire Chiefs Association.

Fire department personnel will be at the Wal-Marts in Belton, Harker Heights, Killeen and Temple, the Lowe's in Temple and Killeen, the Home Depots in Temple and Killeen and the McCoy's in Belton to take applications for free smoke detectors.

Casey said all Bell County fire departments are participating. The project is in observance of October as National Fire Prevention Month.

In other action, commissioners:

Approved an interlocal agreement with the Texas Association of Counties Risk Management Pool to authorize participation in various types of property and casualty insurance coverage. County Judge Jon Burrows said the move would allow reduced rates on an economy of scale and said the county already has such an agreement for workmen's compensation coverage.

Ratified and approved a frequency reconfiguration agreement with Nextel of Texas Inc., on the 800 megahertz band to minimize harmful interference to public safety radio communications. The Federal Communications Commission required the move and will reimburse the county for all costs.

Approved appointment of Bennie Manis of Harker Heights, a retired teacher, to the Bell County Child Welfare Board.

Amended the Order of Election for the City of Temple's bond election Nov. 6 to add two precincts.

Approved a Statement of Work with FusionBridge for a criminal processes update for the county clerk's office. County Clerk Shelley Coston said the streamlining has resulted in marked improvements in process service.

Authorized the county auditor to advertise for bids for vehicles for various county offices approved in the 2008 budget.

In business presented by county engineer Richard Macchi, commissioners:

Approved a final plat for P&D Ranch, a two-lot, 20-acre subdivision off Stallion Road in Temple's extraterritorial jurisdiction.

Authorized Macchi to advertise for annual bids for aggregate, culverts, reinforcing steel and base.

Authorized Macchi to perform needed repairs and maintenance to the Moffat Fire Department parking lot. Macchi said his department routinely performs minor maintenance for the volunteer fire departments, but the Moffat lot needs pothole repair and seal-coating next spring, so permission was needed.

Authorized advertising for bids for a motorized broom, three 6-cubic-yard dump trucks, two half-ton pickup trucks and two 1-ton service trucks. Macchi remarked that the broom to be replaced is so old his department had to wait four months for parts the last time it needed repairs.

Released two letters of credit, one for $14,304 at First Texas Bank of Belton for warranty of improvements in the Woods at Cedar Oaks, Section 2, in Precinct 3, and one for $17,759 at Central National Bank of Temple for warranty of improvements in High Crest Subdivision, Phase 1, in Precinct 1.

Contact Don Bolding at or call (254) 501-7557

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