Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : August 26, 2016

By Emmalee Doss
Monitor Correspondent
GUN BARREL CITY–Gun Barrel City Council members reappointed three now serving on the Economic Development Corp. board, approved two EDC business loans, and a series of ordinances regarding court and business fees.
Mayor Pro Tem Rob Rea, EDC president Steven Schiff, and Holland Whitney will be reseated on the EDC board. Councilwoman Linda Rankin asked if the applicants would be available the second Tuesday of every month for the scheduled regular board meetings. Councilman David Skains noted that it would be difficult to account and plan for that specific date every month for the duration of the term upon appointment. Rea recounted his perfect attendance record since Oct 14, (2015). Schiff responded that it was difficult for the entire board to make every single meeting, given that they serve as volunteers with other priorities.
After the discussion all council members agreed to the appointments, with Rea abstaining.
The council ratified two EDC loans totaling $180,000. A loan of $150,000 will be going to Lakeland Medical Associates for the purchase of new equipment for the expansion of the OB-GYN clinic. The second loan, for $30,000 will go to Tip Top Tires for the purchase of realignment equipment, a freight liner and a hoist. “Mr. Huskin has a good record with the EDC concerning his reliability with payments and responsibility with loans,” Rea said.
Council members approved two ordinances pertaining to court fees. The Municipal Court Judge may add a fee of $25 to the normal $50 warrant fee for those who fail to appear before the court. In addition, a Security Fund was established to be funded by a $3 court fee. This fund will support the purchase of security measures for the city court, including metal detectors, security cameras, bailiffs, warrant officers, signs, alarms, etc. Also a $4 fee is established to fund court technology, such as computers and software.
Those businesses with permits and or licenses to serve or sell alcoholic beverages in the city will also have to pay a city fee equal to half the fee it is already paying to the state.
In other business, council members:
• set the September meeting to Sept. 20, one week earlier than its usual date of Sept. 27.
• approved a Tax Levy at the current rate of zero cents per $100 property valuation.
• held a public hearing and approved the replat of property owned by Jeffrey and Pamela Bohana.



Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : August 24, 2016

Monitor Staff Reports
KAUFMAN–As expected, burn bans in both Kaufman and Henderson counties were rescinded this early this week in view of the last seven days of rainfall throughout North Central Texas. Brush, branches, limbs, leaves and unpainted or untreated lumber are the only items that can be burned on open ground when there is not a burn ban, according to the Kaufman County Fire Marshal’s Office website. Anything else must be burned in barrels with a screen. Outdoor burning should always be attended with the proper safety precautions, such as having the ability to extinguish. No burning after sunset nor under windy conditions.
Kaufman County Commissioners have been reviewing a proposed budget they hope to adopt in September, which includes a $600 pay raise for county employees and funding of several new employee positions.
Public hearings are set for Sept. 6 and Sept. 12.
Though the budget includes nearly $3 million more than last year’s budget, commissioners aren’t proposing an increase in the operations portion of the property tax rate. However, when the county sells the remaining $26 million in voter-approved transportation bonds, the debt service part of the tax rate is expected to rise.
An increase of almost a penny is the “worst case” for the road bonds, depending on the interest rate at the time of its sale. The current debt tax rate is nearly 5 cents per $100 and it could go to nearly 6 cents for a total tax rate of 58.557 cents per $100.
The maintenance and operations tax rate has not seen a rise in the last six years, County Judge Bruce Wood noted at the Aug. 15 Commissioners Court meeting.
The budget also reflects a shift of more funds over to Road and Bridge, or about half a cent of the total property tax rate for a total of 52.65 cents per $100 valuation, same as last year.
Commissioners discussed awarding pay raises on a departmental basis to insure raises were for earned productivity and not just a matter of course, as would be the case if given to all on a certain percentage basis.
The budget has set aside $281,000 for pay raises.
Under the plan, a department that reduced staffing through efficiencies could use the money it saved to redistribute to the remaining employees. However, the plan wasn’t to include distributing funds for vacant positions to be filled. Commissioner Skeet Phillips will head a committee to determine the best way to apply proposed salary hikes.
Employee health insurance adds another $2334,700 to the budget.
New postings include two each in the office of the county clerk and public works and maintenance for six new positions and one each in the fire marshal’s office and district clerk.
As reported last week, the county budget is to include $72,449 to help fund the Star Transit bus and setting aside $250,000 to attract other funding for a county-owned animal shelter. The county’s current contract with the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake expires Oct. 31. A new contract is proposed at a flat monthly fee of $11,500.



Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : August 19, 2016

Monitor Staff Reports
KAUFMAN–Eastbound U.S. Highway 175 closed between Kemp and Kaufman due to a reported rollover crash with ejection Tuesday.
The crash was reported just before 11:15 a.m. on eastbound U.S. Highway 175 near Jiba Road. According to witnesses, Mariah Nealey, 42, of Fort Worth hit a culvert with the 2004 F-150 truck and then hit a second culvert, which flipped the truck three times. She was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected.
Emergency personnel closed the highway to traffic in anticipation of a CareFlite medical helicopter landing on the highway. She was transported to a nearby hospital.
The Kaufman Fire Department, Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office, Kaufman County Fire Marshal’s Office, CareFlite, and the Texas Department of Public Safety responded to the scene.