Next step is purchasing office equipment

Christopher Maher, Alice Echo-News Journal

The Jim Wells County Appraisal District Board of Directors met Wednesday and continued to take steps to move into a new facility.

The board voted Wednesday to authorize Chief Appraiser Sidney Vela to begin searching for office furniture necessary for the new facility, to replace furniture the district has borrowed from the City of Alice and to better suit the new working environment.

The cost of the furniture and several new computers for the district is expected to total $13,500, Vela said.

The board also authorized Vela to post an announcement that the district intends to sell a piece of land owned by the district on the north west corner of Texas Boulevard and Sixth Street.

The land was originally purchased by the district several years ago at a cost of $65,000 and was intended to be the site of a new facility for the district.

A vote by the board last year, however, reversed all plans to build on the site, and the district agreed to lease office space from the First Community Bank in Alice.

In addition to the cost of the land, the district has reportedly spent an additional estimated $18,000 in environmental studies, platting, legal fees and other items related to the land.

The board also discussed the need to create a detailed report of a two-year reappraisal plan of all property in the county. Vela told the board the report is required under recently changed state law, as part of an unfunded mandate from the state legislature. The board is expected to receive a preliminary draft of the report by Jan. 26.

In other business, the board voted to keep the officer's positions on the board unchanged for 2007.

The current officers include Charles Galindo as chairman, Guadalupe Martinez as vice-chairman and Javier Garcia as secretary.