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Commissioners Court continue to work on next year’s budget
Commissioners opened the regular scheduled meeting with a discussion about the proposed position of Joint Elections Administrator for Garza County. Establishing the position would include the responsibility of holding and conducting elections for the county, city, school districts and health care district elections. Ashley Hawkins, Garza County Republican Party Chair, addressed the court endorsing the creation of the position. Hawkins also stated the Garza County Democratic Party Chair agreed with creating the position. Each entity would share in the cost of the position plus the share the expenses of elections.
Clerk Jim Plummer had explained to the court in a previous meeting how the position would work and how the position would be financed. Judge Norman explains the organization of the position and the process of establishing the office. Commissioner Charles Morris made the motion to create the position and Commissioner Jeff Williams seconded the motion. The motion carried.
County offices presented their reports either written or verbal to the court.
Sheriff Terry Morgan reported the Garza County Jail is housing 86 inmates as of Monday, Aug. 9. Morgan attended the Texas Sheriff’s Association conference last week and learned about the new laws that will go into effect on September 1.
Emergency Management Coordinator Michael Isbell told commissioners he is reviewing an appeal for fund to reimburses the expenses incurred by Garza County entities from the 2021 Deep Freeze Event.
Judge Norman told the court he had received a letter concerning Covid-19 restrictions and explained that the counties around Garza are at a high level of infections but not Garza and Borden counties.
Extension Agent Danya Peterson submitted her report and introduced Leightyn Reiter as representing 4-H in the State Horse Show in English Horse Show competition.
Commissioner Morris wanted to know if the how the Burn Ban that is in effect now is being enforced. Morris told the court there were two calls answered by the Post Volunteer Fire Department to fires out of control that had not received authority prior to the burn. Judge Norman explained a citation can be issued at the discretion of the law enforcement.
Other county reports were written and are available for the public to view at the clerk’s office.
Motion was made by Commissioner Jerry Benham and seconded by Commissioner Ted Brannon to accept the reports as presented.
Commissioners approved new inmate housing contracts with Borden and Glasscock counties.
An Interlocal agreement was approved for 9-1-1 agreements with South Plains Association of Governments (SPAG) to continue the maintenance of the county’s services. Morgan explained if 9-1-1- service was interrupted for the county, SPAG would re-route the calls to ensure safety of the public.
Commissioner Williams mad the motion to reinstate the Texas Department of Motor Vehicle fee at $10 in Garza County for the calendar year 2022. Commissioner Benham seconded the motion with all members of the court agreeing.
The court agreed to a Consolidated Election of Precincts and Order of Election for the Nov. 2, 2021, Constitutional Amendment Election.
During the budget workshop the court agreed to a public budget hearing for Monday Aug. 23. Tax Assessor/Collector Nancy Wallace submitted the tax rates for 2021:
- Now new revenue rate is >8578
- Voter Approved Rae is .8862 s
- De Minims rate is .9687
- Current Tax rate is .7727
- Expected revenue is $3.4 million
As the court entered the budget workshop the EMC budget and position was discussed at length and the workshop continued throughout the day.
Public hearing is set for Aug. 23 at 9 a.m. to discuss adopting the budget and proposed tax rate.