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Wood County Commissioners Court

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Hydrilla control petition submitted to Commissioners

Meeting Friday, August 24 in regular session, Wood County Commissioners received a petition with approximately 400 signatures appealing for additional budget funds to combat the hydrilla problem in Lake Hawkins; approved two contracts for continued participation in crime victim programs with the Texas Attorney General, and approved renewal of the employee health care plan.

Senior Commissioner Roger Pace, Pct-3, presided in the absence of Wood County Judge Bryan Jeanes.

Barbara Henderson, a Lake Hawkins resident for the past 11 years appeared before the court to present a petition with approximately 400 signatures seeking additional funding and assistance in combating the hydrilla infestation of Lake Hawkins. In 2007, Precinct-3 Commissioner Pace secured approval of an emergency expenditure of $50,000 to buy chemicals to treat the lake. And, for 2008 an additional $25,000 has been budgeted for chemicals.

The chemicals are part of a treatment program that is being administered by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Individual property owners have also purchased chemicals to be used by TP&W. In addition to chemical treatment, several hundred grass eating carp were released into the lake by TP&W early in the spring.

Henderson pointed out that the TP&W treatment program has only been applied to areas east of the FM-2869 bridge, while the western portion of the lake has not been treated. She expressed concern that the $25,000 budgeted in the 2008 budget would be inadequate.

Contract renewals for partial state funding of crime victims services in Wood County were approved by Commissioners. As a result the county will receive $35,880 in FY 2008 and FY 2009 to fund a crime victims' liaison for budget year 2008 and grants of $49,780 and $50,000 for funds to be utilized for services to crime victims.

Crime victim services include counseling, crisis intervention, assistance with crime victims' compensation, legal assistance, victim advocacy, and information and referral.

Commissioners approved renewal of the contract with Sun life for employee health care. The new contract calls for life insurance in the amount of $20,000 up from $15,000. The contract also calls for an increase of 3-to-5 percent in premiums paid by employees for their dependent coverage and by retirees.

Commissioners renewed the contract with Medicine Chest, Quitman for inmate prescriptions. Health services to inmates incarcerated at the Wood County Jail are provided by contract health care professionals. Commissioners took under consideration a prisoner health care proposal from ETMC, Quitman. It was the only proposal submitted.

In other action, the Commissioners approved:
- Payment of claims in the amount of $144,712.57.
- Payroll in the amount of $246,341.33.
- Employee/dependent health claims of $139,787.12.
- Held public hearing and approved revision of plat of Shadow Lake Subdivision in Pct-1. New 1.25 acre lot created.
- Road & Bridge fees.
- Contract with Texas Department of Family and Protective Services for child welfare (federal funds of $23,000 in direct services costs and $2,000 in administrative costs).
- Amendment to ETCOG 9-1-1 Database Maintenance agreement.
- Interlocal agreement with ETCOG for 9-1-1 PSAP.
- Interlocal agreement with Van Zandt County for seal coat services @ $6,000.
- Order of assignment of Judge William Martin III to 402nd District Court for 20 days beginning September 3, 2007.
- Rental agreement with Tyler Technologies, Eagle Software Division for equipment.
- Service agreement with LexisNexis for countywide accurate access (consolidated at $30/per month).
- Compensation/salary schedule for appointees of 402nd District Judge including Court Reporter, County Auditor and assistants (District Clerk, Una Garland $51,876, County Auditor, Becky Burford $50,566, four assistants in Auditors office from $16,31/hour to $14.15/hour.

Personnel actions approved included:
- John B. Ryers, resignation, juvenile probation department.
- Randal David Lain, Jr., transfer, patrol sergeant from deputy sheriff, WCSO, $15.68/hour to $15.93/hour.
- Michael Ray Taylor, transfer, patrol sergeant to deputy sheriff, WCSO, from $15.93/hour to $15.68/hour.
- Melanie P. Cisneros, end of probationary period, dispatcher, WCSO, $11.94/hour to $12.33/hour.

Public hearings on the proposed budget and tax rate for '07-'08 will be held Wednesday, August 29 and Wednesday, September 5 at 9:30 a.m..
Highlights of the proposed '07-'08 tax rate and budget are:
The projected fund balance from the current fiscal year (ending September 30, 2007 is $3,983,702.
The 47-cent tax rate on property in Wood County is projected to raise $10,763,173 (at a 96 percent collection rate). Wood County's total property valuation for '07-'08 is $2,111,130,905 (adjusted for $1,289,323 tax ceiling). Revenues other than property taxes are projected at $5,046,474.
With projected expenditures of $16,493,291 in '07-'08, the estimated fund balance for Wood County on September 30, 2008 is $3,375,148.
The '07-'08 budget projects spending at $12,029,960 for the general fund and $3,925,364 for the Road & Bridge funds of the four precincts.
The next regular meeting of the Wood County Commissioners Court will be Friday, August 24 at 10 a.m. A special meeting of the court can be called with 72-hour public notice.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 April 2009 15:17  

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