Committee tackles Kerr County's aging public buildings; how to replace, rebuild and upgrade

The five members of a committee are doing the legwork before expected bond measure is place on 2022 ballot.

The West Kerr Annex’s alleged break room is a rusty folding chair next to an old propane tank — that could serve as an end table. And that’s not the worst of it.

On Monday, Brenda Hughes and Bobby Templeton stopped by The Lead Live to discuss their ongoing work on a Kerr County commission studying its capital facility needs. The findings from the five-member commission will precede asking voters to approve as many as three bond measures to fix, replace and rebuild the county’s aging and sagging buildings.

“It has been the five of us just looking at county needs,” said Hughes, who has served on the capital facilities planning committee since October of 2019 when Precinct 1 Commissioner Harley David Belew asked her to help. “On the county level, we were just getting crushed with issues that needed to be addressed. It was primarily related to growth.”


Templeton is the superintendent of Ingram Independent School District, and Hughes serves on the Kerrville City Council. They serve with Pete Calderon, Fred Henneke and Chris Hughes in a comprehensive look at the county’s needs.

“These are needs,” Hughes said.

Templeton is blunter — “this is about safety.”

Their takeaways are clear; the county cannot sustain its facilities, serve the public, be a modern courthouse and operate an animal shelter in many current buildings. Templeton’s biggest issue was with the state of the West Kerr Annex, which serves various functions for residents in Ingram, Mountain Home and Hunt.

“I was kind of embarrassed to go there,” Templeton said.

If the voters say yes in 2022, the plan would be to replace the annex with a 6,000-square foot building that would house a sheriff’s substation, a constable’s office, a courtroom, and a tax office.

VIDEO: Bobby Templeton and Brenda Hughes discuss West Kerr Annex.

Templeton and Hughes emphasized the committee is not making these recommendations lightly. Templeton said all are fiscal conservatives, but these are critically important to meet the growing demands the county could face over the next decade.

“They need to be clean, secure and befitting of the people who work there,” Templeton said.

Just some of the recommendations include:

  • Relocating the tax office out of the courthouse, something that is already underway.
  • Better security for the courthouse.
  • Improvements to the Hill Country Youth Event Center, including replacing the dirt floor in one of the ag barns.
  • And building a new animal shelter.

Just how much will be needed is still being determined, the pair said. Templeton however, stressed that there will be plenty of public input before the Commissioner's Court moves to place the items on the November 2022 ballot.

Until then, Templeton and Hughes said the committee is still meeting every two weeks and is committed to finishing their work leading to recommendations.

Photos of the West Kerr Annex:

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