Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - March 2009
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Commissioners Approve Partial Disbursement
Houston County Courier - March 2009
By Sharron Randall
Houston County Commissioners Court approved partial disbursement of national forest mineral revenues to public school districts in the county on Tuesday, Feb. 24 during the regular meeting of commissioners' court.
Acting on Houston County Lonnie Hunt's recommendation, commissioners held back $440,000 from the mineral check received on Jan. 16 in the amount of $729,962.36.
Judge Hunt said that $440,000 was overpaid the county in 2007 and the National Forest Service will want that money back; apparently it should have gone to Trinity Independent School District.
The net distribution of $289,962.36 will be divided equally between county roads and public education in the amount of $144,981.18 each.
According to the distribution formula "that's been in effect for decades," Lovelady ISD will receive 26.09 percent or $37,825.59; Kennard ISD, 25.88 percent or $37,521.13; Crockett ISD, 18.65 percent or $27,038.99; Grapeland ISD, 18.19 percent or $26,372.08; Latexo ISD, 7.29 percent or $10,569.13.
Groveton and Elkhart school districts owns land in Houston County also. Groveton ISD's share is 3.15 percent or $4,566.91 and Elkhart ISD will receive 0.75 percent or $1,087.36.
Judge Hunt said that there's still no word on the timber check, which should have already been here, but there is no "issue" relating to the timber money, so a full distribution is planned as soon as it's received and processed.
In other action, the court approved the salaries of two part-time employees: Mark Simon with the sheriff's office and Erik Payne with Precinct 3; the purchase of a new John Deere backhoe for Precinct 3; authorized the expenditure to add fax module to copy machine in county treasurer's office; approved contract with Edoc Technologies for upgrade of computer software in the county attorney's office and the district attorney's office; and approved grant application by the Houston County Office of Emergency Management for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security 2009 Emergency Operations Center Grant Program.
As required by Senate Bill 1074, Chief Deputy Ronnie Jordan submitted a Racial Profiling Report for 2008 from the Houston County Sheriff's Office. The court accepted the information based on race/ethnicity, number of contacts, searches and arrests. Jordan said, "No complaints were received in 2008."
Commissioners also approved a revised Interlocal Agreement between Houston County and the Houston County Crime Stoppers organization, which basically states that additions can be made without another Interlocal Agreement, but by simply coming before the court.
In order to be compliant with the Internal Revenue Service, IRS, commissioners adopted policies and procedures for uniforms provided by Houston County, including sheriff office uniforms, investigators, courthouse custodians.
In order for uniforms to be considered non-taxable to the employee by the IRS, the following guidelines must be met: Specifically required as a condition of employment, and are not worn or adaptable to general usage as ordinary clothing.
Commissioners also approved Interlocal Agreement between Houston County and the County Information Resources Agency, CIRA, for development of new justice system software. The county's share of $4,452.53 has already been included in the budget.
Commissioners approved minutes of last meeting, Feb. 10, budget amendments, payment of bills and expenses and approved related budget transfers. Precinct 2 Commissioner Willie Kitchen was attending a DETCOG meeting in Washington, D.C.
Because of conflicts of commissioners or judge, the Tuesday, March 10 meeting has been changed to Monday, March 9 at 9 a.m. and the Tuesday, March 24 meeting has been rescheduled for Monday, March 23, 9 a.m.