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The Garza County commissioners approved new Nov. 3 general election polling locations for Precincts 2 and 6 and the combination of two other polling locations during the court’s June 22 meeting.
District and County Clerk Jim Plummer explained that the current Precinct 4 polling place will not be available for election purposes. Therefore, the polling place will be moved one block east and across the street to the Post Community Center, sharing a place with Precinct 2.
Plummer also said that bridge construction may hinder access to the Lake Allen Henry Firehouse, the current Precinct 6 polling location so the commissioners approved permanently changing the Precinct 6 polling place to the Justiceburg Community Church at 2511 U.S. Highway 84. This change also will benefit poll workers who have previously complained about fumes at the firehouse making them sick.
In other business, County Judge Lee Norman informed the court that out of the nine Covid-19 cases in Garza County, only one is currently active. He also announced the return of Post Nursing and Rehab residents after being evacuated during the recent storm.
EMC Michael Isbell announced he is currently working with Norman on a grant to help with overtime pay and other expenses associated with Covid-19.
Commissioners then approved precinct and countywide accounts payable for June 9 through June 22. All accounts presented in the fund will be presented to Treasurer Luanne Terry for payment.
Terri Bartlett reported that one of the new Post Economic Development Corporation homes located at 705 Chantilly Lane was set to close on Tuesday, June 23. The owners received their keys Tuesday morning around 10 a.m. This is the first of the two affordable homes built by Rod George of C Bar G Custom Homes, Inc. for PEDC that has been purchased. The home at 707 Chantilly Lane is still available. Those interested should contact realtor Dianne Griffin of EXIT Realty at 806-544-8789.
The commissioners acknowledged the submission of a preliminary plat of the proposed development of Raider Park at Lake Alan Henry and had no objection to the clearing of road work so that the land survey can be completed.
This came after septic tank inspector Daniel Yarbro asked if fire hydrants are being considered and explained the septic tank approval process. Hart then told Yarbro and the court that although hydrants are not included at this point, it is being proposed to place a hydrant in each cul-de-sac.
Attorney Ted Weems explained that documentation for water and sewer certification must be submitted prior to approval of the preliminary plat. The preliminary plat must be submitted no later than 18 months after June 22. The commissioners acknowledged the submission of the preliminary plat and had no objection to the clearing of road work so that the land survey can be completed.
Sheriff Terry Morgan presented an Interlocal Agreement with Crane County regarding the housing of inmates in the Garza County Law Enforcement Center/Jail. Commissioners approved the agreement.
Commissioners also approved the Help America Vote Act resolution. Norman explained that the county is eligible for $120,000 with a match of $16,000 by the county. Plummer suggested $5,000 to come from the election revenue dedicated fund account.
The application for the CARES Act Grant was approved with funds to be used for recapturing health related and other expenses incurred because of the Covid-19 pandemic. There is no match for the county. A total of over $342,000 is possible.
Norman explained Senate Bill 2 and the tax rollback election rule for small counties. Senate Bill 2, by Senator Paul Bettencourt, makes substantial changes to the property tax system by compressing the capability of a local government to generate revenue and provide services by lowering the tax rate a county can adopt without a rollback election. The bill also makes changes to the process a county uses to adopt a tax rate, the manner in which a county calculates the tax rate and the tax appraisal process. While post provisions of the Senate Bill 2 went into effect January 2020, for counties with a population of fewer than 200,000, the majority of the bill will not be effective until January 2021. Norman additionally announced that the current county tax appraisals are down 15 percent.
The meeting recessed again at 11:53 a.m. and resumed at 1:34 a.m. for the continued review of the budget for the Drug and Alcohol program.
The meeting recessed at 2:02 p.m. and resumed at 2:14 p.m. for line item corrections and budget amendment requests.
The commissioners approved the amendment presented for the HAVA/CARES Act line item for $4,836.10 and the amendment presented for the Precinct 1 office for $3,000.
The next regular meeting is set for 9 a.m., July 13.