Regarding the demolition of the old county jail building on the Graham Square, County Attorney Dayne Miller issued his formal legal opinion as part of the Monday, Dec. 23 Young County Commissioners meeting.

His three page opinion came at the request of County Judge John Bullock, and it pertains to sections 262 and 263 of the Local Government Code. In Miller's view, the commissioners court has not followed the law as it is written in both sections.

Among other clarifications, section 263 of the LGC defines the terms real, personal, surplus and salvage property. Miller's official opinion states that because the land under the old county jail building is not being sold by the county, “the Law Enforcement Center would be personal property and all of the portions of it removed would be Personal Property that is either ‘Surplus or Salvage' or would be waste.”

Miller then states that according to the LGC, Section 263.152, “The Commissioners have the authority to sell salvage property by competitive bid or auction except that competitive bidding is not required if the purchaser is another County of Subdivision within the County.”

Further down in Miller's opinion, he states that the Young “County Commissioners Court is required to also keep a record of each item of surplus or salvage property sold and the sale price of each item.”

Commissioner Jimmy Wiley has been in possession of a contract with the company Matrix Demolition since September of 2012. The contract holds a price of $37,400 that Young County would pay Matrix for the demolition and removal of the property on the square.

According to Miller's formal opinion, “This contract, if the County does not keep the salvage, would be selling the salvage in bulk without competitive bidding or auction and would be in violation of the Local Government Code.”

Miller further states that 262.023 of the LGC dictates that “any purchase of one or more items (including service) that would require an expenditure of more than $50,000 must be by competitive bidding. There has been no competitive bid on this demolition so far as I have been advised.”

Even though the County's contract with Matrix Demolition is under $50,000, Miller states that the “addition of $1.25 per square foot on 12,291 of the square foot building would raise the contract price to more than $50,000 and would require competitive bidding so that the County would be able to look for the lowest and best bid or offer and which would protect the County's interest in the salvage material from the building.”

Miller then summarizes his opinion by stating that “the County needs to ask for competitive bids on the demolition of the building with a contract that would protect all salvage and surplus property so that it may be disposed of at the best competitive prices on same obtainable at a subsequent sale of the salvage by competitive bidding or auction.”

Read the entire story in the midweek edition of The Graham Leader.