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Wood County Commissioners Court

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APET backers fill court, seek animal control officer
By JOHN SPARKS

 Meeting in regular session Friday, August 22, Wood County Commissioners heard an appeal from members of APET (Animal Preservation of East Texas) to add an animal control officer to the Wood County Sheriff's Office staff and to commit more of the county's resources to problems caused by unwanted dogs and cats. Nearly 50 citizens who support APET packed the commissioners court room for the meeting.


Linda Rosene presented APET's considerable list of accomplishments as a petition scroll supporting APET's position and bearing more than 1,550 signatures was unrolled across the court room.

In her presentation Rosene cited examples of problems created by stray dogs and cats in each of the four precincts in the county and even related a situation in which Commissioner Jerry Galloway, Precinct-4, turned to APET for help with an injured dog. Rosene also highlighted the accomplishments of APET since it was founded in 2003, including the acquisition of 29 acres of property which could house a proposed state-of-the-art shelter for Wood County. She reported a balance of $55,000 in funds dedicated to the construction cost of that shelter.

"In the absence of a shelter," Rosene said, "Apet continues service to the county by conducting ten low cost spay/neuter clinics each month; places all rescued animals on PetFinders website, and has sent numerous animals to Dallas and McKinney SPCA for adoption through a transfer partnership."

Funding for APET's programs comes from state grants ($59,600 for spay/neuter) and $81,000 from various governments foundations, and individuals to support low cost animal services and the construction fund for a future animal shelter. The organization also operates a thrift store in Mineola-Doggone Good Stuff-which has sales revenues of approximately $1,000 per week. APET has working relationships with several local veterinarians and with a large practice in Van Zandt County.
Commissioners voted to renew a contract of financial support of $3,500 with APET for 2009, up $1,000 from the current budget year.

Judge Bryan Jeanes explained that the court could take no other formal action regarding the requests of APET because the agenda item as posted concerned only the renewal of the contract. He also explained that the proposed departmental budget submitted by the Wood County Sheriff for 2008-2009 did not contain funding of an animal control officer and that such an addition should be discussed with the new sheriff-elect after he takes office in January.

Audit office, Court Recorder compensation set
The court also approved 2008-2009 salary/compensation schedules for the Wood County Auditor and a staff of four employees as well as the 402nd District Court Reporter as ordered District Judge G. Timothy Boswell. Each will receive an increase of four percent as a COLA adjustment. As a result of the action, Wood County Auditor Becky Burford will receive a salary of $52,461 and the audit staff will receive salaries based on hourly rates ranging from $16.96 to $15.26 per hour. District Court Reporter Una Garland will receive a salary of $54,027.

The court also approved a new fee schedule for the Lake Hawkins Recreational Vehicle Park which includes $20-($22 with septic) per night for RV site, $12 per night for tent site, $35 per night for cabin (six people), $35 per day or $5/hour (three hour minimum) for pavilion and $3/day for beach/facilities use. The new fee schedule is effective immediately.

In other action the court approved:
- payroll of $254,523.50.
- employee/dependent health claims of $58,975.42.
- claims of $191,321.71.
- retirement of Justice of the Peace-Precinct-2 Larry Jones at the end of the month.
- statements of cash receipts and disbursements for the months of January and February 2008 from the Wood County Treasurer.
- Phase II of Oak Leaf Meadow subdivision for one lot (Precinct -2).
- contracts with various venues of service for service to Wood County Juvenile Probation for non-residential treatment, for residential treatment, for boot camps and for detention centers.
- matching local funds of $2,519.75 to secure $50,000-to-$60,000 in state funding for the Meals on Wheels program in Wood County (county's portion represents .25-cents for each citizen over 65).
Personnel actions taken at the meeting included:
- Cory D. Jones, Jason C. Jones and Ricky Dale Sanders, separation, temporary seasonal help, Precinct-2 R&B, $9.00/hour.
- Kari K. Perkins, salary increase, administrative secretary/court administrator, WC Judge's Office, from $14.67/hour to $15.22/hour.
- Maria Irma Devine, salary increase, secretary III, WC Judge's Office, from $12.82/hour to $13.26/hour.
- Robert Timothy McCraw, new hire, laborer II, Precinct-1 R&B, $12.42/hour.
- Bradley E. Strawn, new hire, deputy sheriff, WCSO, $16.31/hour.
- Dee Tackett, new hire, temporary help (through August 1, 2008), Tax Assessor/Collector' Office, $9.00/hour.

The next regular meeting of the Wood County Commissioners Court will be Friday, September 5 at 10 a.m. A special meeting of the court can be called with 72-hour public notice.

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 April 2009 14:55  

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