Art. 6812b-1. COUNTIES OF 160,000 TO 185,000; COUNTY ENGINEER; DUTIES.

Sec. 1. The Commissioners Court of any county having a population of not less than 620,000 nor more than 700,000 may appoint a County Engineer, but the selection shall be controlled by considerations of skill and ability for the task. The engineer may be selected at any regular meeting of the commissioners court, or at any special meeting called for that purpose. The engineer selected shall be a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas. The engineer shall hold his office for a period of two years, his term of office expiring concurrently with the terms of other county officers, and he may be removed at the pleasure of the commissioners court. The engineer shall receive a salary to be fixed by the commissioners court not to exceed the amount of the salary paid to the highest county official, to be paid out of the Road and Bridge Fund. The engineer, before entering upon the discharge of his duties, shall take the oath of office prescribed by law, and shall execute a bond in the sum of $15,000 with a good and sufficient surety or sureties thereon, payable to the county judge of the county and successors in office in trust, for the use and the benefit of the Road and Bridge Fund, of the county to be approved by the court, conditioned that such engineer will faithfully and efficiently discharge and perform all of the duties required of him by law and by the orders of said commissioners court and shall faithfully and honestly and in due time account for all of the money, property and materials placed in his custody.

Sec. 2. CLASSIFICATION AND RECORD OF ROADS. (a) The county engineer shall, under the direction of the commissioners court, and as soon as practicable, classify all public roads in such county, and such classification when completed, and when approved by the court, shall become a part of the permanent records of roads and bridges of said county. He shall prepare a suitable map of which shall be delineated in appropriate colors the various roads which shall be designated as first, second, and third class roads. The map shall show to which place each road belongs and the nature of its construction. He shall make a complete indexed record of each county road in the county and all bridges. The records shall show when each county road was dedicated to the use of the public, a complete description as to location, measured length, width of right-of-way, character of construction, and terminals of same.

(b) Each road shall be indexed in the record by the same number and name as it is delineated on the map. As new roads are opened and improved, and the existing roads are widened or improved so as to change their class, such facts shall be added to the record of such roads in the "Records of Roads." Such information shall be made available to the public; provided, however that any omission in respect to the above requirement shall not invalidate any contract for the construction or repair of any road or highway in said county, and where such classification, records and indexes have heretofore been prepared there shall be no necessity to repeat the same in the absence of public necessity therefor, but same may be amended, added to or taken from as the facts of public need may demand.

Sec. 3. INVENTORY AND APPRAISAL OF EQUIPMENT; DISPOSAL AND PURCHASE. The county engineer shall at the end of every 12 months, acting in conjunction with each commissioner of the county, make a complete inventory and appraisement of all tools, machinery, equipment, materials, trucks, cars, and other property owned by the respective commissioners, and transmit the same in written form to the commissioners court and the county auditor, which report shall be kept as a permanent inventory record by the county auditor. When any of said tools, machinery, trucks, cars, and other property becomes unusable, the commissioners court shall enter an order upon the minutes of the court, stating such facts and reason for disposing of such equipment and shall have authority to dispose of same as it deems best. When in its opinion it is necessary to purchase other machinery, supplies, tools, and other equipment and materials, the commissioners court shall enter an order on the minutes showing the necessity therefor. All equipment purchased or acquired as herein specified, shall be shown on the permanent inventory record.

Sec. 4. MASTER PLAN. The county engineer shall, when funds are available and when authorized by the commissioners court, to do so, make a careful and thorough study of all roads at that time opened and constructed with a view of determining what new roads and connections of roads should be opened and constructed, as well as what roads should be widened and improved. In making such survey, he should take into consideration the convenience of the traveling public, and especially the convenience of the citizenship of the county, so that each community a part of the county shall have easy and practical connection with the other and the state highway system of roads in the county, thereby furnishing to the citizenship of the county a convenient means of ingress and egress into and out of every city and town, as well as every other community in the county. The roads indicated in such surveys to be opened and constructed, as well as existing roads that are designated to be widened and improved, shall be located and designated with the view of giving the entire county an efficient road system. The commissioners court shall, in selecting roads or new roads, as well as the improvement of existing roads, look to the density of the population and amount of traffic that will normally flow over such roads; such survey when completed by the engineer, and when adopted by the commissioners court at a regular meeting thereof, shall be known as the Master Plan. When such Master Plan has been completed and adopted by the court as it is stipulated, the same shall be made into permanent record form and kept by the county engineer, and after such adoption, all new construction, widening and permanent improvement shall be done in accordance with such Master Plan and with the view of ultimately completing the same, both as to location and character of construction. The construction of said Master Plan shall proceed as the available funds of the county will permit, and each unit of such construction shall be made in accordance with such Master Plan. The order in which the roads or projects in the construction of said Master Plan are constructed shall be determined by the county engineer, with the approval of the commissioners court and in determining the priority of roads or projects, the engineer and court shall take into consideration the necessity and convenience of the public and should give priority to those roads or projects that will result in the greatest service to the greatest number of the citizenship of the county, looking at all times to the entire county as a unit and wholly disregarding precinct lines.

Sec. 5. ADOPTION AND AMENDMENT OF MASTER PLAN. The commissioners court shall when said Master Plan is submitted to them for adoption, or if after adoption, an amendment or change thereto shall be deemed advisable, set a date at a regular meeting of commissioners court called for that purpose, and give public notice thereof at least two weeks in advance of such meeting and the purpose thereof, inviting the citizenship of the county to be present to protest any part of said Master Plan and also to make such suggestions as they deem pertinent in connection with same, or any change therein, but the decision of the commissioners court shall become and be final and conclusive as to said Master Plan, and no succeeding commissioners court shall have the power or authority to alter or change or amend any of the provisions thereof except by unanimous vote of the commissioners court. Provided, that where such Master Plan has once been adopted, there shall be no necessity to repeat the same in absence of public necessity thereof, for same may be amended and altered when public necessity therefor is shown, and after notice is given as herein above provided.

Sec. 6. SUBDIVISIONS. It shall be the duty of the county engineer and the commissioners court in each respective precinct to cause the Master Plan to be conformed to the needs and demands of existing and new subdivisions by constructing adequate highways leading from such subdivisions to the county seat. Provided that from and after the passage of this Act, the commissioners court, before approving the plan or plans of any subdivision lying outside the corporate limits of any city, town, or village, as required by Article 6626, Revised Civil Statutes of Texas, 1925, as amended, shall require such subdivision to enter into a written contract in agreement with the county, then such subdivider or dirt dealer will grade, and gravel all streets and provide all necessary drainage structures within such tract of land so subdivided. Such street improvements and drainage structures shall be in accordance with standard plans and specifications prepared by the county engineer. Such contracts shall be for the benefit of any person or persons, firm or corporation who may thereafter acquire by purchase or otherwise any lot or lots in said addition or subdivision, and the faithful performance of said contract as to the initial improvements of said streets shall be deemed a part of the consideration paid for said lot and be read into the contract of sale of same, and such contract shall be enforceable at the instance, if necessary, of the owner or owners of any lot or lots in a given subdivision, suing singularly or as a group or class. After such initial street improvements have been completed in accordance with such plans, said streets then become and remain a part of the county road system and shall be maintained by the county unless and until included within the corporate limits of a city, town or village capable of maintaining its own streets.

Sec. 7. INSPECTIONS OF PLATS, SUBDIVISION PLANS AND LAND ENCOMPASSED; ADVICE TO COMMISSIONERS COURT AND DEVELOPERS. The county engineer when directed to do so by the commissioners court of the county, shall inspect all plats and plans of subdivisions to be recorded within said county, and make an on-site inspection of the land encompassed within said subdivision and advise the court as to the roads, drainage, sewage, and all aspects of said subdivision and terrain. The county engineer when and if required by the commissioners court, shall affix his signature to said plat along with the county judge and the commissioners court upon any plat approved and accepted by the commissioners court and filed in the county clerk's office. The county engineer will offer advice and suggestions to said developer and commissioners court in order to promote conformity with any and all rules and regulations for subdividing as laid out by the commissioners court.

Sec. 8. INSPECTION OF VARIOUS UTILITY DISTRICTS WITHIN COUNTY; MAP. The county engineer when directed by the commissioners court shall make such inspections of any and all utility districts, water districts, sewage districts, and any other type district formed within the confines of the county, to ascertain whether or not said districts meet the state and county requirements. The county engineer will keep a map setting out each and every type district created within the county and make it available for public use at any and all times required to do so.

Sec. 9. ASSISTANCE ON COUNTY FUNCTIONS. The county engineer when requested to do so by the commissioners court or by a commissioner shall assist said commissioner in connection with any county road in said county, any drainage problem, public buildings, health and sanitation district, planning commissions, and any other function or service over which the commissioner or commissioners court might have jurisdiction.

Sec. 10. EMPLOYEES. The commissioners court shall employ all help necessary for the discharge of their public service or for the discharge of the duties of the county engineer. Such employees shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by the court, but in all such cases an order shall be passed and entered on the minutes of the court, showing in such case the public necessity for such employment and the amount of compensation to be paid each employee and the fund out of which it is to be paid.

Sec. 11. WORK RECORDS; DAILY TIME SHEET. The county engineer shall keep or cause to be kept, in duplicate, a daily time sheet which shall show the amount of time and the character of work performed and the place where the same is performed by himself and each person working for the county engineer, and such other records in connection therewith as the commissioners court and county auditor may require, one copy of which shall be furnished to the county auditor, and one copy shall be retained by the engineer.

Sec. 12. COUNTY COMMISSIONERS; DUTIES. This Act shall in no way diminish, alter or eliminate any of the duties presently handled by the commissioners court or by any individual commissioner. Each member of the commissioners court shall be and he is hereby required to devote all of his time unless prevented by illness to the duties of his office, and shall be in attendance at all sessions of the court.

Sec. 13. CUMULATIVE EFFECT; CONFLICT OR INCONSISTENCY. The provisions of this Act are and shall be held and construed to be cumulative of all general laws or special laws of this state on the subject treated in this Act when not in conflict or inconsistent herewith, but in case of such conflict or inconsistency in whole or in part, this Act shall control.

Sec. 14. SEVERABILITY. If any section, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause, or word in this Act shall be held to be unconstitutional, the remaining portions of same shall nevertheless be valid and it is declared that such remaining portions would have been included in this Act though the unconstitutional portion had been omitted.

Sec. 15. COUNTY ENGINEER; RELEASE FROM POSITION. If at any time the commissioners court at any time feels that the county engineer position is no further of any necessity or benefit to the county, then said commissioners court has the authority to release said engineer without any obligation to fill said position or vacancy.

Acts 1971, 62nd Leg., p. 2483, ch. 809, eff. June 8, 1971. Sec. 1 amended by Acts 1981, 67th Leg., p. 593, ch. 237, Sec. 127, eff. Sept. 1, 1981; Sec. 1 amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 597, Sec. 53, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Sec. 1 amended by Acts 2001, 77th Leg., ch. 669, Sec. 171, eff. Sept. 1, 2001.

Amended by:

Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1163 (H.B. 2702), Sec. 198, eff. September 1, 2011.

Acts 2023, 88th Leg., R.S., Ch. 644 (H.B. 4559), Sec. 295, eff. September 1, 2023.