Precinct 2 County Commissioner Dennis DeWitt announced the plans with an information-only agenda item at Monday’s regular court meeting.
“This is pretty exciting news for the court and for the public,” DeWitt told commissioners, following a June 5 meeting the previous week—among 15 real estate, engineering, construction, city and sheriff’s office representatives—with Bryon Burris, president of TagMgt Services, that wants to build the facility.
“This won’t cost the county anything,” DeWitt told the court. In addition, the county also will get a new probation office building.
The gist of the agreement—more than two years in the making—is that the county will give TagMgt the land at Hillside Drive and Toledo Street for the nearly 37,000-square-foot facility.
In return, TagMgt will demolish the probation office and construct a new one on one of two sites as yet to be determined.
The company will construct the building and pay for hookups of all utilities, DeWitt explains.
TagMgt operates 35 facilities in Bay City, Corsicana, Ganado, Moulton, Shiner, Uvalde, Winnie and at its home base of Victoria. In addition, at its facilities it offers physical, occupational and speech therapies.
Burris, surprised that his company’s long-term plans were revealed in open session, said expanding to Beeville was unprecedented for his company because of the need to tear down and rebuild another building.
The probation office is operating in a former doctor’s office.
“It’s in terrible shape,” DeWitt told commissioners. “In some places you can see daylight through the walls.”
A draft of the site plan shows that the sheriff’s office would be required to rebuild covered parking for its vehicles along with having to relocate the oldest wooden jail building, now fallen into disrepair because of a partially collapsed floor.
“This is a win-win situation for everyone,” DeWitt says, noting the proximity of the planned facility adjacent to Christus Spohn Hospital.
The county, DeWitt says, will finalize its agreement with TagMgt within the next four months.
Following the city’s rezoning part of the property from residential to business, construction could begin within a year, he predicts.
Construction costs would be between $1 million and $2 million, DeWitt predicts. When operating, Burris says, the facility would mean a $1 million payroll for around 100 employees.
Bill Clough is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 122, or at beepic@mySouTex.com.