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September 10, 2013

County sets tax, budget meeting

Athens — The Henderson County Commissioners Court set the date at its Tuesday meeting for adoption of the 2014 budget and the tax rate to fund it.

On Sept. 24, the commissioners will have a public hearing on the budget at 9:03 a.m., followed by a vote on the budget at 9:30 a.m. and the tax rate at 9:33 a.m.

The court has been fine-tuning the document since County Judge Richard Sanders submitted his proposed budget, a $32.3 million package on July 31. The budget can be amended up until the final vote.

In other action, Commissioners approved a request from Elections Administrator Denise Hernandez to consolidate voting boxes for the state constitutional amendment election in November.  Hernandez said the county turnout for the last slate of amendments in 2011 was only six percent and not enough to warrant voting in all 26 boxes.  The county will trim the number of boxes to 13.

Of the 47,617 registered voters, only 2,860 voted in the 2011 election. Of those ballots, 1,057 were cast early, with 1,803 coming to the polls on election day. In Precinct 1A, only 31 cast ballots during the 12 hours the polls were open on election day.

The county will have 13 voting precincts open on Nov. 5. Because the county also has a local option election for Justice of the Peace Precinct 3, the boxes in that precinct will remain open.

The Commissioners Court also voted to:

• accept a $300 memorial donation to the Henderson County Clint W. Murchison Library;

• approve spending $100 from the Justice of the Peace Security Fund for two batteries for tasers in Precinct 2;

• set a 30 miles-per-hour speed limit for Fargo Estates subdivision in Precinct 3; and

• authorize payment of bills in the amount of $477,306.

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