Coryell County leaders discussed the ability of the county's road and bridge department to negotiate contracts with a trio of engineering firms to expedite work when a work contract is less than $50,000, and also talked about the need for a designated floodplain manager.

County Attorney Brandon Belt said Justin Latham and Justin Mannix of the department "are very interesting in having engineering for projects immediately" on items that are considered routine and often more time-sensitive.

The Coryell County Commissioners Court approved RFQs (requests for proposals) from LAN, Mitchell & Associates and the MRB Group, which have offices in Central Texas.

"I think letting them have a good bit of latitude on subdivision (engineering work) and floodplain (engineering) is good," Belt told the court. "They're the ones who get the permits and they've got money budgeted for projects."

Commissioner Scott Weddle said rather than having an open-ended dollar amount for contracts, the commissioners court should specify a certain cap - after which approval of the commissioners court would be required.

"I believe you could get an engineering study on a pretty significant-sized bridge for $50,000," Belt said. "They (Latham and Mannix) need to know what they can and can't do - what they're authorized to do."

Commissioner Kyle Matthews suggested the road and bridge department leadership be given leeway of approving engineering contracts up to $50,000.

Judge Roger Miller.JPG

Courtesy photo from campaign signage.

County Judge Roger Miller said LAN has talked with county officials about a drainage analysis they are doing in Copperas Cove and adjacent areas.

"I think we need floodplain management proposals from all three (LAN, MRB and Mitchell & Associates)," Matthews said.

Belt said based on dealings with all three, LAN and MRB were likely to be most interested in serving as the county's floodplain manager. He said the county already has a contract with Walker Partner Engineers and Surveyors of Waco to provide services, as well.