Commissioners urge Legislature to consider assistance to taxpayers

With only a few items on the agenda for either action or discussion, the McCulloch County Commissioner’s Court met in regular session Monday morning and quickly stormed through the agenda. An item unanimously approved Monday morning by the members of the Court was a resolution urging the Texas Legislature to consider revenue increases that better spreads the burden of state costs and protects local ad valorem taxpayers. McCulloch County Judge Randy Young elaborated on the financial “wrestling” taking place in Austin during this Legislative session and how the Texas Association of Counties (TAC) is spearheading several participating counties in their quest for financial assistance. According to Young, there are two things that the state can do when money is “tight”‘raise fees and transfer expenses on to counties which typically results in county taxes being raised. The resolution asks the State Legislature to “share the wealth’or lack thereof.” Now that it has been approved, the signed resolution will be returned to TAC and the state “They’re (TAC) trying to get most or all counties to approve this resolution,” said Young. The commissioners approved the request of Steve Hendley for a water line easement along East White Street (which connects to County Road 402) in Brady. The 2,600-foot right of way begins at Hendley’s property and runs to a point at which it connects with a main water line. According to Young, proper documentation of the easement is required for any future reference. In an item that began with discussion concerning lawn care, maintenance and general exterior courthouse upkeep quickly spawned into an approval for Precinct 2 Commissioner Jerry Bratton to take the lead in contracting an individual or company to replace the uplights positioned on the courthouse lawn as well as those secured to the roof of the courthouse to accentuate the 100-year-old structure. In addition, the commissioners would like to see the Christmas light strands inspected and possibly extended to run the full length of the courthouse. “I would like to see us have a nice and neat lighting concept,” said Young who explained that the county spent over $2,500 on Christmas lighting just a few short years ago. Perhaps the most challenging obstacle expressed in the commiss-ioners’ meeting is finding a qualified person willing to rapel the roof to replace the lights on top of the courthouse. The commissioners authorized Bratton to spend up to $1,000 to get the job accomplished. The courthouse lawn’on the other hand'”almost needs every-other-day attention,” according to Young, who introduced Sara Altmeyer. She took the opportunity Monday morning to explain her lawn care business. As owner of Rockin’ “R” RV Park, Ms. Altmeyer, along with park manager Jesse Sampson,have joined forces in a lawn care business and requested that the commissioners consider reviewing their resume of services and references should the county consider hiring a local business to take over care of the courthouse lawn. Currently, general upkeep is being provided through the offender services program. “They (the offenders) have a million jobs to do with only one person to supervise them,” explained Young. “They have been doing a good job, but I’d like for us to look at this again in the next budgeting year.” At one point, the county employed a full-time person, eight hours per day, to assume general upkeep including mowing, hedging, weed eating, etc. The position was abandoned by the commissioners and eventually opened for bids. No action was taken on authorizing any individual to assume care of the courthouse lawn, however, possible solutions will be considered before the next budget session. As the final item on the agenda, the commissioners agreed to host the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEES) training session on road construction and repair safety. A date and time have yet to be determined because other entities, including the City of Brady, are expected to be included. “This is important not only for insurance purposes, but it also allows the commissioners to get their hours in for continuing education points,” said Young. The county will host the free training course and give others an opportunity to participate. Holding the event in McCulloch County will be a cheaper route for the county to take in obtaining credit hours because it will not require out-of-town travel. Following a three-hour break, the meeting continued at the Texas Cooperative Extension Service meeting room where the commissioners met with the McCulloch County Livestock Committee and the Extension Program Council. They discussed a proposal for a multipurpose center for McCulloch County.

Leave a Comment