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County tax rate to remain the same, few budget changes expected


Taxpayers will see no change county tax rates for fiscal year 2015, which begins Oct. 1. Commissioners began working out next year’s budget during a regular meeting Monday.

Commissioners settled on a proposed rate of 65.518 cents per $100 in value.

Judge Kenneth Liggett said commissioners reviewed the budgets of all office present for Monday’s meeting. Liggett expects to see little change in the overall budget. The judge’s travel budget will increase by $3,000 to cover possible travel required by the border dispute with the Bureau of Land Management.

“We did not go into detail, it was more of a quick review to see (which officials) need to come back,” said Liggett. Commissioners will take a more in depth look at the county’s larger budgets, including the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

The judge said individual precinct budgets have not yet been reviewed. Some increases are expected at the district level, including the office of the 97th District Judge, district attorney and district clerk’s office.

A first draft of the budget is available for review in the county clerk’s office.

Commissioners accepted the county’s annual audit report as submitted by Rutledge, Crain and Company. In the report, auditors noted that no issues of significance were found.

Liggett was appointed by commissioners to serve as the county’s executive officer in the application of a Texas Community Development Block Grant. If awarded, the grant will fund the development of additional water wells by the Dean Dale Special Utility District at a cost of $350,000. Because the water district is not part of a municipality, the grant must be directed through the county.

Commissioners discussed, but took no action, on “several” requests to route the courthouse annex’s internet service through the Clay County Sheriff’s Office facility, similar to how the courthouse is set up.

Commissioners also took no action on a request to designate a portion of southeast Clay County as a reinvestment zone. The designation would allow for tax incentives to draw companies to the area. The location up for designation will include acreage owned by Triangle Brick Company.

A second public hearing concerning the proposed reinvestment zone will be held July 7.

In other business, commissioners:

  • Reviewed a bill for $5,000 related to the CETRZ Grant for the repair of county roads damaged by oil field traffic. The grant will pay 80 percent of the bill, with the remainder to be divided among the county’s four precincts.
  • Approved a release from Legend Bank in the amount of $340,000.
  • Approved the reappointment of individuals to the board of directors for the Nortex Regional Housing Finance Corporation.
  • Accepted the resignation of Peggy Sheppard from the Clay County Historical Commission. Commissioner have not yet appointed a new chairman, a position that will be filled by the county judge until commissioners are able to do so.

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The Pioneer Sentinel is an online newspaper designed to deliver the news of Clay County, Texas, in a concise and community-friendly format.

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