2009-09-17 / Front Page

Rain, Rain, Rain and the County Burn Ban Lifted

Carolyn Jackson, a Lee County resident, sent this picture of her rain guage, which shows over 3.25" of rain she received last Sunday. Carolyn Jackson, a Lee County resident, sent this picture of her rain guage, which shows over 3.25" of rain she received last Sunday. Lee County Commissioners voted on Monday, September 14, to lift the long running Burn Ban. Over the past couple of weeks, the county has seen anywhere from 4 to 12 inches of rain. This past weekend, the rains helped to bring the fire index down from over 700, where it was at the last Commissioners' Court meeting, to 292 on Monday.

The Court heard a report by Doug Thielmann, CPA of Urban, Thielmann and Oltmann Co., LLP, the County auditors, about the audit of the County's 2008 books. Thielmann said, "Overall the books are in good shape although there were a couple of major points that needed the Court's attention. First, although the County ended the year over $1 million under budget for the year, it is facing a $138,000 liability to the IRS. The liability is based on the earnings from interest made by the County on funds received from the jail bonds, which exceeded the interest paid on these same bonds. In short, these taxes are owed because of the good job the County has done managing the bond funds. This liability will be due in about two years."

Thielmann continued, "Second, the value of the road and bridges assets cannot be certified because these were not valued correctly in prior years - dating back to the time the accounting rules were changed in 2002. For some reason, this was not implemented then and was not caught by the previous auditors."

The Court also approved consolidating the County's fifteen voting precincts into seven voting precincts for the upcoming election in November on amendments to the State Constitution. The Court approved combining this election with the election by the Dime Box ISD for a tax increase.

The Court also approved submitting a grant request for work needed on FM 696. This is a 'Tiger Grant' for an estimated $17.9 million primarily to improve safety on FM 696 West by adding shoulders to the road.

The Court approved complying with the new State law extending the coverage time for Permits/ Licenses fee for beer and wine licenses to two years from one year.

The Court also set the next County Cleanup day for October 17, 2009 which is the third weekend in October. A mass mailing will be sent to notify the residents of this date.

At a special meeting held last week, the Lee County Commissioners' Court voted to accept a proposal from Gaeke Construction Company for emergency repairs in the attic to the Courthouse Building. These emergency repairs are not to exceed a cost to the County of $3,900. These repairs have little to do with the extensive repairs needed to fix problems that have surfaced in regard to the work done on the restoration of the Courthouse.

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