By Chris Edwards
WOODVILLE – Tyler County commissioners and Judge Jacques Blanchette unanimously voted to adopt the budget for the coming fiscal year during Monday morning’s commissioners court meeting.
The budget for FY 2020 retains the same bottom line expense for the county on the general fund, Blanchette said and is based on proposed tax rates of $0.23 per $100 for the hospital tax rate; $0.2540 per $100 for the special proposed tax rate and $0.6767 per $100 for the general fund proposed rate.
Monday’s regular meeting was prefaced by a public hearing, which allowed for public comment and discussion about the proposed tax rates. This was the second hearing, with a first held last Thursday. Neither hearing featured any public comment.
“We are only adjusting enough for the road and bridge fund to try to provide some material increases,” Blanchette said. “Commissioners have acknowledged they’re just patching and repairing, and not improving anything, so there’s money that needs to be underwritten…that supports that,” he added.
A special meeting is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. in the commissioners courtroom at the Tyler County Courthouse on Thursday to consider and vote on the tax rate.
Policy for Veterans Service Officer hire adopted
The commissioners voted to adopt a policy for hiring a new Veterans Service Officer for the county. The policy clarifies the hiring language to allow non-veterans to be hired to the office but notes that preference shall be given to veterans who qualify.
Senate Bill 601, which went into effect on Sept. 1 allows for the appointment of a Veterans Service Officer to be a non-veteran but requires that counties adopt their own policy to give preference to qualifying veterans.
Kay Timme spoke about the law and how it pertains to hiring protocol for the position. She said there have been seven applicants thus far.
At Monday morning’s meeting, Tyler County commissioners voted to approve the following items:
• Precinct #6 polling place will be moved to the garage of the Don Stockton residence, located at 107 Palmetto Street in Village Mills.
• The purchase of new Tasers for the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office and the four county constables’ offices was approved. Sheriff Bryan Weatherford spoke about this matter and said that the Tasers currently in use are outdated.
• The engaging for consultation of LaBiche Architectural Services was approved toward renovation plans for the Tyler County Annex on West Bluff, which was flooded in August when a water heater burst. LaBiche, which was appointed to the preservation architect role with the courthouse remediation work, was also approved by the Texas Historical Commission to oversee an emergency repair job on the courthouse roof.