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Front Page August 15, 2017  RSS feed

Tax rate to be “Exactly the same.” Judge Ryder says

County elected officials salaries to stay the same
By Mac Shadix

With the Judge and Commissioners are, left to right 4-H members, Zoie Stevens, Annika Stevens, Caraline Dudley and Quannah Dudley. In front, left to right: Commissioners: Joey Sullivan and David Ferguson. County Judge Bryon Ryder. Commissioners: Dean Stanford and David Grimes. Photo by Mac ShadixWith the Judge and Commissioners are, left to right 4-H members, Zoie Stevens, Annika Stevens, Caraline Dudley and Quannah Dudley. In front, left to right: Commissioners: Joey Sullivan and David Ferguson. County Judge Bryon Ryder. Commissioners: Dean Stanford and David Grimes. Photo by Mac Shadix
The Annex 1 courtroom was packed to standing room only again during the Regular Called Meeting on August 14. at nine a.m. This time however no one was protesting taxes or airports. Instead, Laura Petty gave the commissioners a report on 4-H activities over the course of the year and some of the 4-H’ers were presented to the commissioners court.

Several others present were members of the Flo Volunteer Fire Department present to support Fire Chief Troy Pate as he encouraged Commissioner David Ferguson to build a road from FM 1511, a short distance to the radio tower on the hill above the fire department. The Commissioners court had approved the road two years ago, Pate told those assembled.

“I will get right on it.” Commissioner Ferguson told Pate. “I got stuck last time I tried to go up there.” He added. After receiving Ferguson’s assurance the members of Flo Fire left the courtroom.

Karen Stott reported to the commissioners on the Keep Texas Beautiful conference she attended. She discussed possible aid for Leon County in recycling. Nucor was recognized and thanked for a donation to cover the costs of the conference and for donating the cost of the next ten road signs recognizing individuals and businesses that adopt sections of highway to keep clean.

Powering through the lengthy agenda the commissioners approved a re plat on some Dennis Land Company property, agreed to a $250. donation to ‘Trout Fishing Clinic for Kids’ at Fort Boggy on February 24, and approved a jury selection plan recommended by the District Judges.

The commissioners agreed to publish the Effective, Proposed and Rollback tax rates for the next year. Those rates which will be in newspaper ads next week were: Effective-.452099, Proposed. 45917 (Exactly the same as last year, Judge Ryder said.). and the Rollback rate would be-.583198. The commissioners also voted that there would be no salary increases for county elected officials this year.

Commissioner Joey Sullivan who had represented the county on the Appraisal Board for a number of years, Sullivan first said ten year, but others said it was more like 20 years said that he thought it was time that someone else had a turn. Dean Stanford was volunteered into the position to replace Sullivan.

The court took action regarding the disposal of the body of deceased paupers. They are cremated and placed in a small area in the Centerville graveyard Judge Ryder told the court.

The local jail is overflowing and prisoners are having to be placed outside the county to stay in compliance with court orders on jail overcrowding. Prisoners were being sent to Crockett, but Crockett is now full, Chief Investigator Victor Smith told the court. They are now being sent to Limestone county and the Sheriff’s office needs and approval from the commissioners. The cost in Limestone County are $42 dollars a day each for the first ten prisoners and $38 after that. The rate at Crockett is $35 a day per prisoner, Chief Investigator Smith told the court. The commissioners approved housing prisoners in Limestone County.

Road use agreements for CR 245 and CR2451 in precinct 2 and CR314, and CR364 in precinct 3 were approved.

An Attorney Generals opinion on paying bills and payroll would force the Commissioners Court into more frequent meetings the court was told by Judge Ryder and the commissioners voted to hold meetings as needed.

Kyle Workman, President of the association fighting High Speed Rail addressed the court. He gave an optimistic report and singled out State Representative Trent Ashby as doing a good job to protect land owners from the incorrect use of eminent domain. Texas Central has issued a press release that is printed in part in this weeks Buffalo Press.

Judge Ryder reported that the big fans had been installed over the bleachers in the Expo Center and that they helped a lot.

There were no budget amendments but the were $311.659 in line item transfers approved.

Commissioner Ferguson was approve to sell or trade two motor graders and to buy a Caterpillar replacement.

The court went into a short executive session at 10:51 and returned to raise Nina Mendez’s pay from $7.25 to $10.00 as she clears the probationary period.

The commissioners adjourned only to return to the courtroom at 1:30 to discuss and possibly take action on the 2017- 2018 budget.


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