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County Undertakes Creating Cleanup Task Force, Jail Meets Standards

Sanitation Solutions is currently assisting the City of Cooper in the demolition of condemned properties.
Cindy Roller
Cooper Review

In a meeting which drew a crowd to Delta County’s Commissioners Court for the discussion of County-wide clean possibilities the creation of a Task Force was formed to help enforce current laws. Ed Pickard of Pecan Gap spoke on the agenda item regarding the problem of code enforcement in relation to public nuisances (as in the improper care of property – broken down automobiles and abandoned houses).

Delta County Judge Jason Murray concurred with his statement adding his knowledge of conditions preventing potential buyers.

“We must instill a desire to keep property clean. It is a difficult situation,” said Delta County Attorney Jay Garrett, noting junk car collecting is a violation of State law. “We should all be vigilant.”

Ben Franklin resident Jennifer Dwyer suggested a citizens’ action committee to help educate the public, echoing the thoughts of the attorney.

“It is difficult as it is a large problem. We know some property owners don’t have the resources to fix the problems,” said Delta County Sheriff Ricky Smith. “But we must start somewhere if we want to grow as a community.”

Cooper resident Dr. Delbert Horton said to look at the cost to cleanup as an “investment in our community.”

Attorney Garrett proposed a Task Force and volunteered to provide legal advice. Horton volunteers for Precinct 1, Dwyer volunteers to represent Precinct 3 and Judge Murray was nominated for Precinct 4. They are still seeking a representative for Precinct 2. Sheriff Smith offered his assistance and suggested the Task Force members read Chapter 3 of the Health and Safety Code.

“There is no time better than the present,” said Judge Murray on the immediacy of the situation.

“Other towns are better because their officials make it happen ALL the time, and the people there are used to having to maintain it. Hopefully it becomes a habit,” said Cooper business owner Wes Scott.

“To make progress it is going to take everyone – not just the folks on this committee,” said Judge Murray, pleased with his encouragement Nu-Way used some of the alcohol sales profits to improve on the gas station property. The City of Cooper has five houses scheduled for demolition. The committee is working out the details.


Sheriff Smith and Delta County received a letter from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards regarding the recent inspection of the Delta County Jail. Texas Commission on Jail Standards Executive Director Brandon Wood says “he wished to acknowledge the excellent work of the Delta County Sheriff’s office with a Certificate of Compliance for the Delta County Jail.” The facility was inspected on Oct. 22, 2015 by Inspector Fred St. Amant.

He went on to state this certificate “demonstrates your outstanding leadership and the diligent work of your staff in complying with the minimum jail standards. In addition, this achievement is a direct result of your office’s commitment to excellence and is an example of dedication and professionalism in maintaining a safe, secure and sanitary facility.”  Appreciation was expressed to the Court for their budgetary support of the Jail operations.

“The citizens of Delta County should be proud of your combined efforts, as is the Texas Commission on Jail Standards,” stated Executive Director Brandon Wood.

“I am pleased with the compliance. It is very meaningful to me,” said Sheriff Smith, who was given a person note, “best we have ever seen.”

Jail meets Standards by Cindy Roller