Chief Deputy Sheldon Wiginton reported that the prospect of rain is dim and the recent freeze on the prairie provides fuel for a fire.
“It is fixing to become dangerous,” Wiginton said. “We’re 30 points from extreme draught.”
Following a request from Connie Raymond, chief appraiser, the county will clarify the terms of the tax abatement policy for new home builders as well as new business construction.
Raymond requested that the county identify which year the tax abatement begins. Even so, the owners must apply each year through the appraiser’s office.
EOG, which built a $48 million and a $24 million investment on U.S.77 north of Refugio, was eligible for the abatement this year; however, since it was not requested for 2012, the taxes were included into the county’s budget. Relinquishing would cause a shortfall in budgeted revenues.
“It’s not EOG’s fault; they were not informed,” said Commissioner Gary Bourland. “I don’t have a problem with it but I don’t think we can start it this year.”
County Judge Rene Mascorro proposed beginning the abatement in 2013.
“That will work without any objection from EOG,” said Tim Warneke, representative of EOG.
In other matters, the court:
• Acknowledged employee status changes for Cindy Henderson with a salary change from $34,790 to $35,834 per year and for Rita Trojcak from $30,417 to $31,330 effective Dec. 1.
• Acknowledged the sheriff’s forfeiture report and his traffic enforcement monthly report.