Pending grants, budget biggest issues for Brewster commissioners

by dentonramsey

Pending grants, budget biggest issues for Brewster commissioners

By Denton Ramsey/Staff Writer


The Brewster County Commissioners court addressed pending grants and the 2006 budget at their meeting Tuesday.

The key issue involving the pending grants has to do with the Texas Historical Commission (THC) and their decision to restore five eligible homes in Alpine. A problem arises when THC overpowers private property rights.

“THC needs to step to the plate and provide some funds to restore these houses,” Judge Val Beard said. “Many of these homes were described to me as ‘piles of melting ice cream’ and something needs to be done to preserve these homes.”

A key issue for the budget involved the certified tax roll, which addressed potential problems arising in the chief appraiser’s office, previously occupied by Betty Jo Rooney.

“We have to be done [with the tax roll] by the end of September and we can’t wait,” Beard said. “We may have to litigate to get a certified tax roll in time.”

Rooney was removed as the chief appraiser in a decision that was made later on Tuesday afternoon by the county appraisal district board.

As far as the sheriff’s office budget is concerned, Sheriff Ronny Dodson asked for an increase in funding for more personnel along the border.

“There is a need for some eyes and ears along the southeast part of the county,” Dodson said. “At this time, I might have to move one of my current employees down there.”

The rest of the budget was reviewed quickly as Judge Beard asked for departmental requests and proposed that “at the next meeting we get close to the proposed budget.”

Dodson also addressed the commissioners concerning an increase in charges for federal prisoners and asked for approval to move forward.

In addition, the commissioners discussed the idea of adding an additional secretary at the sheriff’s office to care for the trust fund-a special account at the bank for inmates-and the commissary fund-used to pay for TV, weight equipment, etc. in the jail.

“These things need to be looked at every day,” Dodson said. “It needs to be monitored because it is other people’s money. We need someone that is dedicated to that because otherwise it will disappear. Not everyone is a saint but I am looking for a part-time saint.”

In Emergency Management, the purchase of a $2,800 dry hydrant for Terlingua CSD was approved.

Judge Beard and the commissioners discussed the $500 per year that Mary Stringfellow donates to the sheriff’s office and asked that the force write Ms. Stringfellow a letter of thanks.


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