Blanco County News
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Commissioners Vote to Increase Speed Limit to 35 mph on Kendalia and Rocky Roads, Precinct One Only
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 • Posted April 25, 2013

Blanco County Commissioners Court held a Special Meeting on Tuesday, April 23rd. All four commissioners were present, and Commissioners approved the minutes of the April 9th Regular Meeting.

Official reports were also approved by the Court with Commissioner Paul Granberg making a motion for approval and Commissioner Chris Liesmann providing a second.

Blanco County Judge Bill Guthrie asked the Court to consider raising the speed limit from 30 to 35 mph on Kendalia and Rocky Roads. Commissioner John Wood commented, “Both roads are in good shape. The suggested speed limit signs for Kendall County are posted at 35, and I make a motion to change our speed limit to 35 mph also.” Commissioner Granberg seconded the motion made by Commissioner Wood. Blanco County Commissioner James Sultemeier spoke up and said, “My end is dirt…I’ll stay at 30.” Judge Guthrie asked for additional comments, and Commissioner Wood amended the motion to include increasing the speed limit to 35 mph on Rocky Road in Precinct One only.

Commissioner Wood informed the Court Dr. Darwin Labarthe has agreed to serve on the South Blanco County Emergency Services District Board. Judge Guthrie asked how long Dr. Labarthe had lived in Blanco County, and Commissioner Wood answered that Dr Labarthe met the criteria to establish residency. Commissioner Granberg told the Court that Dr. Labarthe’s resume is, “Very impressive.” Commissioner Granberg presented a second to Commissioner Wood’s motion, and the nomination of Dr. Labarthe was approved by the Court.

According to Commissioner Granberg, “Anny Weed has passed the background checks and is ready to serve on the Blanco County Child Protection and Family Advocacy Board.” Following a motion by Commissioner Granberg to approve the appointment of Anny Weed to the Board Commissioner Liesmann presented a second. The appointment of Anny Weed was approved by the Court.

Keith Neffendorf shared the annual report from the outside auditor for FY 2011-2012 to the Commissioners. Neffendorf told the Court, “The overall financial position of Blanco County is strong…we’ve seen some new ideas, have a good interest rate, and have paid down the debt and are seeing substantial savings. We’ve also received one million plus in federal grant money for projects from Homeland Security.”

Neffendorf informed the Court that, “Two sets of financial statements are required by the Law. One is for governmental basis, and this basis is used for adopting a County Budget and setting tax rates. The other form is a business financial statement. The business financial statement includes research by the Auditor. Check records and all other financial information is reviewed by an independent third party for a certain period of time…this report includes financial records as of the end of the fiscal year, 9-30-12.”

According to Neffendorf, “The bank balance at year’s end is secured by FDIC coverage and/or collectibles. CD’s are also secured by the FDIC and/or collectibles, in accordance with the Public Funds and Investment Act. Neffendorf added, “The County spent a lot in capital outlay because of the jail completion. The project spanned two separate years, and was completed during 2012.”

Under Federal and State Awards an audit is required for federal funds received, and Neffendorf noted, “No major weaknesses or areas of noncompliance were found. Government Auditing Standards also revealed no difficulties or corrections. A few suggestions were given for improved record keeping.” Neffendorf closed by saying, “Overall this is a good audit, with a good financial position. The County is doing a good job of building up the fund balance…a big improvement from not too many years back.” Total county assets included $12,435,864 at the end of FY 2011-2012.

Commissioner Granberg asked Neffendorf to explain the difference in qualified versus unqualified opinions. Neffendorf replied, “A qualified opinion is okay, and an unqualified opinion means the Auditor takes exception to.” According to Neffendorf, “A qualified opinion is the best position.” The Commissioners had no further questions, and the annual report from the outside auditor for FY 2011-2012 was approved by the Court.

The Court was asked to consider a resolution in support of the legislation to designate the Capital Area Council of Government (CAPCOG) as an emergency communications district to serve the 10-County regions with expanded and comprehensive 911 services. Judge Guthrie summarized the resolution by saying, “This resolution means CAPCOG One would be its own region, and not under the State umbrella…50 cents on phone calls would be directed to this region, not the State. The Legislature takes the 9ll fund to balance the budget and we don’t get it. We are shorted. Approximately $111,000,000 has been skimmed by the Legislature to balance the budget. We want to get this money for our district, and I highly recommend support for this resolution.”

Commissioner Granberg asked, “If the resolution passes, will others follow?” Judge Guthrie answered, “The Bill looks good and we see no roadblocks so far…other Counties could provide support for the resolution.” Commissioner Sultemeier asked what the cost would be, and Judge Guthrie answered, “An administrative fee, and this is already paid. Just an increased revenue source, and we can use 911 for additional services. With the current plan we can only use the 911 side. The new plan would give us a

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lot more ability for better use of funds and the ability to upgrade the system. Our current system is almost archaic. This proposal is a win/win.”

Commissioner Granberg also asked where the sales tax for the Bill goes. Judge Guthrie said, “The County only gets a little portion of it, and this is not a substantial amount.” The Court had no additional questions regarding support for the resolution. Commissioners Liesmann and Granberg presented motions for support of the resolution, and the Court approved.

Judge Guthrie presented a report regarding the division of the Road & Bridge Capital Improvement funds. The mileage of County maintained roads for individual precincts included the following information: Precinct One – 35.72 miles and proposed funding of $310,525, Precinct Two – 53.57 miles and proposed funding of $483,039, Precinct Three – 54.00 miles and proposed funding of $483,089, and Precinct Four – 50.08 miles and proposed funding of $448,536.

According to Judge Guthrie, “The funds are held in deposit and are accruing no interest. The amount of the funds is approximately 1.7 million.” Judge Guthrie asked for discussion and summarized that, “Precinct One is on the short end for funds but is also 10% below the other precincts in mileage.” Commissioner Sultemeier gave a motion to accept the division of the funds as determined by the mileage of County maintained roads in individual precincts. Commissioner Granberg provided a second, and the division of funds was approved by a vote of three to one with Commissioner Wood voting against the measure.

The final item of business was approval of the outstanding bills in the amount of $169,645.67. A motion for approval of the bills was provided by Commissioner Liesmann and seconded by Commissioner Sultemeier. After the Court approved payment of outstanding bills the Special Meeting adjourned.

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