Athens Review, Athens, Texas

September 24, 2013

HC approves tax rate, budget

Henderson County also lifts burn ban, county employees receive pay raise

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — After no comments from the public during the budget hearing on Tuesday, Henderson County Commissioners Court approved a budget and tax rate.

The tax rate of .4726580 is equal to the rate a year ago. The $33 million budget includes a 4-percent payraise for county employees.

  “I think it was a pretty smooth budget year,” County Judge Richard Sanders said. “I just want to thank everyone for their participation.”

Precinct 2 Commissioner Wade McKinney said there is no perfect budget.

“The whole thing is the result of compromise, fusses, fights, making up, the whole nine yards,” McKinney said.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken Geeslin said tax revenues for the county have not gone up considerably for the past three years.

“The last three budgets based on tax revenue have been relatively flat, within a half-of-a-cent,” Geeslin said.

Geeslin said it has been a painful process to be able to produce a budget while leaving the tax rate the same.

“It isn’t a perfect budget, but under the conditions we’ve had to work under for the past three years, it’s about as good as we could have done,” Geeslin said.

At the request of Fire Marshal Shane Renberg, Commissioners lifted the burn ban. Renberg said he had heard from several fire chiefs who were opposed to lifting the ban, because despite the Keetch-Byrum Drought Index showing the county well below the threshold for calling a ban, the index which measures moisture in the soil and does not take into account the dry vegetation on top.

The Court also voted to approve:

• the purchase of Quick Books for the Henderson County Child Welfare Board in the amount of $228;

• the purchase of a printer for Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 from the JP Technology Fund;

• the sale of separate lots in the Persimmon Creek subdivision in Precinct 1;

• allowing CenturyLink to bury cable at the intersection of Henderson County Road 2920 and CR 2938 in Precinct 2;

• the payment of bills in the amount of $387,771.44.