At its regular meeting on May 24, County Commissioners gave the go-ahead for County Sheriff Bill Elsbury to execute written contracts with “contract cowboys” to gather up stray livestock when it is deemed necessary. “We have a severe problem with loose livestock in this county,” the Sheriff declared. “When a cattle truck overturns on the highway and we have to catch 22 head of loose cattle, we want our contract cowboys to be adequately recompensed so that we’ll have them when needed.”
The Sheriff indicated that “we will make due diligence” trying to locate the owners of loose livestock, but if animals are on the highway or otherwise causing problems or presenting a danger, “then we must act quickly.” He said that animals could be redeemed at the Auction Barn in Fredericksburg. If not redeemed, they can be sold at auction. He said that very favorable conditions had been negotiated with the Auction Barn to hold the recovered animals until they can be picked up by their owners or sold.
He said that four or five contract cowboys would rotate being on call in order that no one of them take on an undue burden. They would be paid for their time and for their mileage to haul animals to Fredericksburg.
In other business, Commissioners gave authorization to advertise for requests for proposals and invitation to bid on communication towers to be located at 862 RR 962E in Round Mountain, and 3944 US Highway 281 in Blanco.
The County Judge was authorized to sign a contract with Lone Star Commissary for the new Jail/Law Enforcement Center in Johnson City. Sheriff Elsbury said that the commissary would provide a means for inmates to purchase items they might need or want and that it would generate revenue for the jail. “20% of the income will go to the jail,” declared Sheriff Elsbury. “We could make as much as 35% by running the commissary ourselves but that would require full-time help.
“I am satisfied with Lone Star Commissary. There are several vendors in the business but this company seems to be the industry standard.” Lone Star will provide easy-to-use software that is compatible with County owned computers and will provide the brief training that will be required to make the system work. Although he believes it is not necessary to bid this item, Sheriff Elsbury was willing to go through the bid process. Commissioners voted to award the contract to Lone Star Commissary. They had been provided with a packet of information about the company and its services.
County Judge Guthrie was authorized to sign a revised local prosecuting agreement contract entitled “Health and Human Services Commission Office Inspector General Agreement with Local Prosecuting Authority.” This was necessary because the State had made changes to the previous contract.
For the second time, there were no bids offered for aggregate and paving oil needed to repair county roads. It is believed that the wildly fluctuating prices for petroleum products is the reason that companies are unwilling to bid at this time.
Certain fireworks are banned for the July Fourth holiday. “Skyrockets with sticks” and “missiles with fins” are banned in the unincorporated areas of Blanco County for the July 4, 2011, fireworks season. Commissioner Liesmann asked, “What if we have a monsoon between then and now?” If that were to happen, it was determined that the ban could be lifted at the upcoming June 14 meeting.
Judge Guthrie was absent at this meeting due an illness.
At its meeting on May 10, the County Commissioners Court heard an auditor’s report that indicated that “the County is in good shape” financially. The assets of the County exceeded its liabilities at the close of the most recent fiscal year by $10,801,121 (net assets). Of this amount, $3.880,373 (unrestricted net assets) may be used to meet the County’s ongoing obligations to its citizens and creditors.
The County’s net assets increased by $632,221 as a result of this year’s operations.
At September 30, 2010, the County’s governmental funds reported combined ending fund balances of $9,704,234, a decrease of $1,919,000 in comparison with the prior year.
At September 30, 2010, the unreserved fund balance of the general fund was $3,487,618, or 99.4 percent of total general fund expenditures.
At the end of 2010, the County had $12,214,816 invested in a broad range of capital assets, including land, buildings, vehicles and equipment and other improvements. This amount represents a net increase of $2,786,331, or 29.5 percent, more than last year.
At year-end the County had $6,490,000 in certificates of obligation outstanding, a decrease in total debt of $10,000 from the previous year. The County paid $10,000 in principal on the long-term debt.
The report indicated that sales tax numbers are down in Blanco County but not substantially as they are in most big metropolitan areas.
The financial report is designed to provide Blanco County citizens, taxpayers, customers, and investors and creditors with a general overview of the County’s finances and to show the County’s accountability for the money it receives. If there are any questions about the financial report or if additional information is needed, citizens can contact the County’s business office at Blanco County, Johnson City, Texas.