Second public hearing for proposed county tax increase on Monday

in Lamar County by

Lamar County Commissioners are scheduled to hold the second public hearing on a proposed tax increase Monday, September 12.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Rodney Pollard is set to turn in his resignation, and will step down at the end of September three months before his term expires. No announcement has been made to fill his seat, however the likely candidate is Ronnie Bass who won the Republican primary in March with 62% of the vote.

Commissioners plan to make updates in three places of the county personnel handbook:

First, the county will pay 50% for the cost of health insurance for the spouse of eligible county employees who retire before October 1, 2016 until the spouse reaches Medicare eligibility. The county will also pay 50% of the cost for the children of the retiree until they reach the age of 26 or become eligible for Medicare. The county will no longer pay the health insurance for the spouses and children of those who retire after September 30th, 2016.

Second, they will discuss amending the handbook so that a day of holiday pay would mean 12 hours for law enforcement personnel, 10 hours for road hands, and 8 hours for other county employees; and they will discuss setting a yearly limit of 60 hours of holiday time, to be consistent with the county’s vacation policy.

Lastly, in place of the current ‘benefit time,’ commissioners will discuss amending the overtime pay rate for law enforcement personnel covered by the 207(k) exemption of the FLSA. The new overtime rate for law enforcement personnel will be calculated based on a ‘salary basis’ using 171 hours during a 28-day pay interval.

Charles Edwards of Resource Management & Consulting Company will speak before the court regarding the 2017/18  Texas Community Development Block Grant (TCDBG) program for infrastructure improvements. This year’s application guide states the program’s objectives are to create jobs, and to improve housing conditions and public facilities, primarily for persons of low-to-moderate income.

The court will also consider approving a contract with Resource Management & Consulting Co. for the administration of the county’s 2016 TCDBG for disaster relief.

Also on the agenda is:

  • Moment of silence for the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001
  • A presentation from AFLAC about online enrollment for insurance services to elected county officials and employees
  • The sale of Precinct 1 equipment via Auctioneer Express
  • An update on repairs to the courthouse and other county property with possible action
  • PUBLIC HEARING concerning a continuation of a $10 filing fee for district court records
  • Approving and receiving the 2016/17 annual written plan for district court records archive.1
  • Discussion and/or action regarding Lamar County Commissioners’ Court entering an “Order of the Lamar County Commissioners’ Court of Lamar County – In Re: Tax Levy, Lamar County Levee Improvement District No. 1.”2
  • A proclamation from the court to honor Commissioner Pollard for his service to the county
  • Memorandum of Understanding Agreement between Lamar County and Texas A&M AgriLife extension service pertaining to IT services for the next two years.
  • Line item transfers for various offices

1. Section 51.305 of the Texas Government Code states “The commissioners court of a county may adopt a district court records archive fee of not more than $10 for the filing of a suit, including an appeal from an inferior court, or a cross-action, counterclaim, intervention, contempt action, motion for new trial, or third-party petition, in any court in the county for which the district clerk accepts filings as part of the county’s annual budget. The fee must be set and itemized in the county’s budget as part of the budget preparation process and must be approved in a public meeting. The fee is for preservation and restoration services performed in connection with maintaining a district court records archive.”

2. The Commissioner’s Court agenda goes on to read: “This Lamar County Commissioners’ Court Order is made pursuant to a “Certificate of Resolution” made by the Board of Supervisors of the Lamar County Levee Improvement District. The Board of Supervisors are resolved to assess a tax of $3.00 on each acre of land located in the levee improvement district for the maintenance and improvement of the levy. The levy is designed to protect and benefit these lands and the total cost of maintenance and improvement of the levy is estimated to be $13,800.00”

Colton is the founder of Paris Free Press. He was born and raised in Paris, Texas, graduated from North Lamar ISD and Paris Junior College with an Associate Degree. He lives in Lamar County with his loving girlfriend and their three dogs and two cats. He has once been uncredited in The Paris News.