This statutes says that The commissioners court of a county may use county road equipment, construction equipment, including trucks, and employees necessary to operate the equipment to assist another governmental entity on a project if:
(1) the cost does not exceed $15,000;
(2) the use of the equipment or employees does not interfere with the county's work schedule; and
(3) the county pays only the costs that the county would pay if the county did not assist the governmental entity.
Does anyone know if that work must be done under an interlocal agreement? Or can it be done simply by request to and performance by one commissioner?
[This message was edited by Tanya Davis on 08-16-04 at .]
Yes--it is best done through an ICA (or other properly written agreement), as an individual commissioner can not obligate the County or use his resources to work on anything except county roads, except through an ICA (or other proper agreement) and Commissioners Court approval. Not to say that there never is an occaision where an individual commissioner might fail to get CC approval. I believe the original statutes were written before the general ICA statutes came into play, so as long as Commissioners Court and the other gov't body agree, in writing, per the terms of the various Transportation Code provisions, then you should be good to go.
Also note that these statutes, as far as I can remember, state that the commissioners court can authorize these matters, and do not mention individual commissioners. When it comes to County law, as a general rule (subject to all the loopholes Brumely can find), a county or individual commissioner can only do what a statute expressly authorizes, unlike a city where the law has to expressly forbid the action for the action to be prohibited.
One of those loopholes is that the parties' names must be correctly spelled in the authorizing documents. In addition to the able and correct advice Lee has given above, another consideration that militates in favor of accomplishing the Transportation Code's provision through an Interlocal Agreement is handling indemnity issues. Operating from the presumption that your county isn't contemplating this kind of work simply out of the goodness of its heart, compensation of some sort will be involved. The myriad factual scenarios that could develop might coalesce to drop your county straight into a joint venture with the other county, which could open you up to Tort Claims Act liability for any mishap involving your motor-driven equipment. Additionally, it is not difficult to foresee some species of inverse condemnation claim arising from such work. Those types of issues should be expressly contemplated and addressed in your Interlocal Agreement with respect to who will ultimately pay the tab when the lawyers come calling.
LV and Scott-
Thanx for your input. It was just what I thought I knew, but wasn't sure. It always helps, when speaking with a commissioner, to show them that someone else thinks a particular way. Don't know why they, I guess they feel saftey in numbers.
Sometimes i think it is similar to what it says in the Good Book, about a prophet is without honor in his own village (or country--I forget which) Been there on that, upon occaision, if "you all know what I mean"
opps that is "Brumley" this site needs to add spell cecker
We, too, have been down that road. We now strive to live by the old adage that, "in the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king."
Yes, your highness. If you got any blindfolds that are extra and not needed, send them to us. We sure could put them to good use.........
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