Cooke County Courthouse

An eight percent spike in Cooke County’s population won’t affect who county commissioners represent for the next decade. The court approved a redistricting plan Monday with few changes to the current map.

Cooke County added 3,321 new residents overall between 2010-2020, an 8.4% increase from 38,437 to 41,668. The commissioners’ precinct maps won’t be affected much by the increase.

The town of Myra will flip from Adam Arndt’s Precinct 3 to Leon Klement’s Precinct 4. Precinct 2 Commissioner Jason Snuggs and Precinct 1 Commissioner Gary Hollowell could see minor district changes on the final map, but it remains to be determined.

Annex renovation

The county’s courthouse annex will get a facelift over the next few months. The court approved a $987,000 bid from contractor Joe R. Jones of Weatherford to renovate the building’s second floor. Hollowell said he hopes the work is done in time for the spring 2022 primary vote, as the project targets the county clerk’s election offices.

Weigh station

The commissioners also discussed building a weigh station along southbound Interstate 35. State officials have indicated that they would help with the site preparation and staff the station when it opens, but the bulk of the construction cost would be covered by Cooke County.

Should the station be built, the county would received unspecified income from tickets issued for speed, safety and other violations to truck drivers.

No firm timetable has been set for approval of the move, but state officials have requested a commitment in writing from the commissioners should they want to proceed.

Library

The commissioners rejects two bids to replace the boiler at the Cooke County Library in downtown Gainesville. Judge Steve Starnes told colleagues the problem with the old boiler – installed in 1962 – has to do with a pilot light blowing out.

“I don’t think we need to spend 25-30K on a new boiler … we need to figure out how to keep the pilot light on,” Starnes said.

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