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Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - August 2009
Copyright 2009 - Polk County Publishing Company

County Budget Hearing Draws No Comments
Houston County Courier -  August 2009

The Houston County Commissioners Court conducted a public hearing on the 2009-2010 county budget Friday morning, Aug. 21, but no members of the public showed up to offer comments or ask questions. 
The court scheduled a vote for official adoption of the budget for Sept. 8.
Houston County Judge Lonnie Hunt noted that general fund expenditures had been reduced by more than $500,000 with cuts being made in almost every county department. 
The total general fund appropriation for the new year is $6,902,807. 
However, that includes a transfer to the debt service fund of $554,175 to help make the annual payment on the new Justice Center facility. 
Excluding the transfer for debt service, actual expenditures in the general fund total $6,348,632, a reduction of $526,739 from the current year’s budget.
The budget is based on the same tax rate as last year which is 38.6 cents per $100 of assessed value.  Official adoption of the tax rate will also take place on Sept. 8.
In other business, commissioners voted to extend the burn ban which has been in place in Houston County since June. 
County Fire Marshall David Lamb reported that the KBDI drought index in the county was at 739. 
The highest the index can go is 800.  He noted that rain was in the forecast for later Friday, but added, “Whatever rain we get will help, but it won’t be enough to make a significant difference in the fire danger.”
The commissions voted to consolidate voting boxes for a special constitutional amendment election to be held on Nov. 3.  Since no local offices will be on the ballot, a low voter turnout is predicted. 
“This is an election which is mandated by the state, but which must be paid for by the county,” said Judge Hunt.  “We’re just trying to save our taxpayers a little money.”
The commissioners designated that five polling places would be utilized for the special election:

  • Precincts 1, 2, 3, 4, 11, 14 and 22 will vote at the courthouse in Crockett.
  • Precincts 5, 6, 8, 15 and 16 will vote at the First United Methodist Church in Grapeland.
  • Precincts 7, 9, 10, 17, and 18 will vote at the Community Center in Lovelady.
  • Precincts 19 and 21 will vote at the Kennard School.
  • Precincts 12 and 20 will vote at the Weches Fire Station.


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