County Commissioners, on a split vote, reinstituted the burn ban for Blanco County. With Commissioners Paul Granberg and Chris Liesmann voting to let the ban expire and Commissioners James Sultemeier and John Wood voting to re-implement it, County Judge Bill Guthrie cast the deciding vote to keep the ban in place.
“The governor has declared a state of emergency for all Texas counties because of the ongoing drought. I’m going along with the governor,” declared Judge Guthrie. After the meeting, Mr. Sultemeier told this reporter that he, too, would have voted against a burn ban except that “this morning the Johnson City Fire Department had to be called out to extinguish a controlled burn that went out of control. There is still a lot of fuel out there!”
In other business at the regular meeting of the Commissioners Court on January 25, Commissioners authorized the County Judge to sign a contract with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Office of the Inspector General, authorizing the District Attorney to prosecute cases of fraud, waste and abuse in Health and Human Services programs in Blanco County. This is being done in all the counties of the district at the request of the District Attorney.
Three individuals were appointed to the North Blanco County Emergency Services District Board. They are: David O’ Bannon, Kay Odiorne and Gene Yentzen.
Commissioners authorized Judge Guthrie and Commissioner Granberg to negotiate with the City of Blanco to purchase land and easements for a proposed emergency communications tower to be erected at the “Church Tank” site on U.S. 281 south of the City of Blanco. “We’ve been looking for an appropriate site south of Blanco,” said the judge. “They already own the land where the large tank is located. The City will deed us a small portion of that land in order to place the tower there.”
Commissioners authorized the resale of Lot 30, Block 19, Lake of the Hills Estates subdivision. The County Judge was authorized to sign the tax resale deed. “This lot has been sitting in Lake of the Hills for a number of years,” said Judge Guthrie. “The school district is interested in this more than we are. The resale bid price of $635 will not pay the outstanding tax debt of $1,206.09 on the property but it is hoped that by allowing the resale of the property, it will get it back on the tax rolls.” There were no bids received for the amount of the back taxes. “The lots in that subdivision are almost too small for a house,” said the Judge. “Quite a few of those lots have been abandoned.”
Pat Dildine was appointed to be a member of the Blanco County Historical Commission for the 2011-2012 term.
The extension of the following bonds for the Rocking J Subdivision was approved by the Commissioners: Waste Water Treatment Plant, Phase I; Road Construction for Unit 5; Sewer Collection System for Unit 5, and Water Distribution System for Unit 5. Commissioner Granberg indicated that there are too few houses in the subdivision right now for a waste water treatment plant “but we need to keep the bond in place.”
A special closed meeting was announced for Friday, January 28, at 3:30 p.m. for Commissioners “to discuss a lawsuit that has been brought against the Commissioners Court.” No further information was forthcoming.