Chief Deputy Shelton Wiginton told the court Tuesday morning that while meteorologists are predicting a “wet winter,” conditions in the next few weeks are expected to be dry.
“In the 14-day cycle, we may be heading toward a drought,” Wiginton said.
The court will revisit the matter at its meeting on Nov. 13.
The commissioners also brought back an item from the last meeting so that Connie Raymond, chief appraiser, could be present to explain the 2013 budget allocation. The court claimed the increase was more than $20,000 over last year’s.
County Judge Rene Mascorro told the court that the increase in the appraisal district’s budget arrived too late to be reflected in the new budget.
“It’s a significant jump - from $75,000 to $100,000,” Mascorro said.
Commissioner Gary Bourland said the allocation was received 10 days into the new budget year.
“We were late getting the numbers,” Mascorro said.
However, Raymond not only said she sent the estimates early, the allocation decreased, not increased.
Raymond told the court the estimated allocation went to the county judge in June. The fiscal year doesn’t begin until October.
In 2012, the county’s allocation was $96,899.52 and the 2013 allocation is $96,146.44.
The appraiser said she cannot finalize the numbers until all the entities have approved their tax rates, which is the reason she sent the estimated allocation to the judge early.
“Bayside didn’t get their’s certified until Oct. 11,” said Ida Turner, tax assessor, collector.
Commissioner Ann Lopez thanked Raymond for providing the information.
The commissioners also agreed to bring River Road near Tivoli back into the county road system.
County Attorney Bob McGuill was unsure when or why the road was dropped off the county’s road list. However, the road was the subject of litigation in district court, McGuill said, and Judge Steven Williams ruled the road is public.
Commissioner Rod Bernal said the road needed to be graded and he wanted the road picked up by the county before beginning improvements.
Larry Landgraf, on whose land the road crosses, was opposed. He told the court that the property had never been condemned and he has never been compensated, which he claimed was against the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.
“Are you an attorney, Mr. Landgraf,” Mascorro asked.
“No, are you,” replied Landgraf.
However, Mascorro said that issue was not on the agenda and could not be discussed.
Landgraf left the meeting, telling the commissioners he will “see you in court.”
In county fairground matters, Harvey Dierschke announced that the fair is in “pretty good shape.” He said the South Texas Trail Riders have rented the fairgrounds for $1,200 and all the RV slots that were installed last year are rented, most of which are long term.
“We’re looking at putting in some temporary hookups for the fair,” he said. “We need about 30 more of them.
He also told the commissioners that a deal has been rendered with the soccer players who have been using the grounds.
“Everything is going pretty good,” he said.
The commissioners also:
• Acknowledged the employment of Duqualis Farrow as a deputy effective Sept. 16 at a salary of $39,486 per year and Matthew Tuttle effective Oct. 16 at a salary of $40, 671, the difference in salary being one was hired after the new fiscal year.
• Acknowledged a status change for Debra Blaschke, 911 administrator for the sheriff’s dept. effective Oct. 1, at a change in salary from $34,790 to $38,834.
• Acknowledged the employment of Reyes Resendez as animal control officer effective Oct. 16 at a salary of $40,671.
• Acknowledged status change of Rita Barraza from part-time to full time cook for food service, effective Oct. 22 at a salary change from $12,330 to $19,732.
• Acknowledge employee status change for Paula A. Moya from a part-time clerk for JP #1 and #2 to part-time clerk for JP #2 with a change in salary from $14,542 to $14,978.