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Burnet County Emergency Management Coordinator Jim Barho honored

Burnet County Emergency Management Coordinator Jim Barho

Jim Barho at the podium in the second-floor courtroom of the Burnet County Courthouse, where he came to deliver a report to the Commissioners Court on Jan. 25. Before the report, however, he was honored for an award he was presented with at a December CAPCOG meeting. Staff photo by Suzanne Freeman

Jim Barho walked into a surprise as he prepared to deliver his departmental report at the Burnet County Commissioners Court meeting Tuesday, Jan. 25. A verbal report was not all County Judge James Oakley had in mind when he asked the county’s Emergency Management coordinator to attend the meeting. 

“Jim, I got you,” Oakley said. 

He then announced that Barho received the Phill Parmer Volunteer Service Award at CAPCOG’s annual General Assembly meeting in December. 

“I want the public to recognize what has been recognized by our Council of Governments for all Jim does to support us,” Oakley said. “I want to point out the importance of what Jim does with the radio systems in making sure, when people who want to move into these nooks and crannies out here, that there is going to be a radio system available. There are places that need to be connected that didn’t need to be connected 10 years ago.” 

The Capital Area Council of Governments coordinates and plans regional issues for a 10-county area, including Burnet County. Since 2007, Barho has chaired the agency’s Long-Term Interoperability Committee under the Homeland Security Task Force. 

“The award honors those who have gone above and beyond to volunteer their time,” reads a Jan. 20 media release from CAPCOG. “Barho played a key role when CAPCOG developed a Regional Radio Communications Interoperability Plan, which would drive how HSTF directed federal funding to ensure first responders across the region would have connectivity during mutual aid events.” 

The departmental report Barho delivered after receiving a round of applause from the Commissioners Court and those in attendance certainly reflected the work he does for the community. 

“The western regional radio system, which includes Blanco, Burnet, and Llano counties and the city of Marble Falls, is complete,” he said. “We just finished a massive conversion that took two years.” 

He explained that more than 2,000 radios were reprogrammed to upgrade the system. 

“We have a system that is very workable and provides a lot of service to first responders,” he said. “This is something Burnet County should be proud of.” 

Radio sites were added in Mason and Stonewall, filling communication voids in the service area.

Emergency Management is currently in the middle of rewriting its overall plan, something that is required every five years. The deadline for completion is June 1. 

In other business, the Commissioners Court: 

  • issued an order for the county to clean a Spicewood property that has been declared a nuisance and health hazard;
  • approved changing the Tourism and Marketing director position, which is paid for out of HOT funds, from half time to full time;
  • set April 23 as the date for a BOPATE (batteries, oil, paint, antifreeze, tires, and electronics) disposal event; 
  • set Oct. 15 as the date for a Household Hazardous Waste Collections event;
  • purchased a new asphalt paving machine for $299,839.50 that will be used by all four precincts;
  • and reappointed Sharon Barclay and Richard Bremer to Burnet County Emergency Services District No. 2.

The next meeting of the Burnet County Commissioners Court is 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8, in the second-floor courtroom of the Burnet County Courthouse, 220 S. Pierce St. in Burnet.