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The Henderson County Commissioners Court passed a balanced budget and a tax rate to support it at a meeting Tuesday in the Courthouse Annex.

The county adopted .477984 as the 2019 property tax rate.

"That's equal to last year and the previous three years," County Judge Wade McKinney said.

The budget is based on projected revenues of $33,529,340.

"This has been a joint effort, not just of the court or particular ones," McKinney said. "I can not express enough credit to all of the departments for what we were undertaking this year."

Also on the agenda was approval of a contract between the Henderson County Sheriff's Office and Wood County to house prisoners. Sheriff Botie Hillhouse said the rate will be $40 per day for each prisoner, which represents an increase over the $35 the county has been charging other counties.

The Wood County jail is full, Hillhouse said.

Meanwhile the Henderson County Jail, which has a capacity of 508 prisoners, now has 432 in custody. Of those, 95 are being held for out-of-county entities.

On another item, Commissioners declared Sept.15 through 21, Constitution Week in Henderson County. William Sekel of the Sons of the American Revolution read a proclamation.

"Remember that lost rights may never be regained," Sekel said.

In other action, the county entered an interlocal agreement with Lubbock County to participate in the Regional Public Defender for Capital Cases program. The state has provided $4.3 million for the program.

"This particular interlocal agreement provides a court appointed attorney, an investigator and a mitigation specialist," McKinney said.

The county will pay $26,373 for each of the next two years to participate. The state uses a formula which takes into account each county has spent in capital murder cases to determine how much a county will receive through the program.

"We're still paying legal fees today for cases that are over 10 years old," McKinney said. "This is more or less an insurance policy."

Commissioners also approved:

• a grant of $5,403 for the Meals on Wheels Ministry;

• an interlocal agreement with the Andrews Center and a county payment of $44,700 to the service;

• a preservation and restoration records plan for the county and district clerks for the 2020 budget and

• payment of bills totaling $871,642.99.

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