During Monday’s regular meeting, Cooke County commissioners are set to consider prolonging or withdrawing the area burn ban.
During a regular meeting on Aug. 12, county officials enacted a ban on burning in unincorporated county areas despite an advisory that conditions didn’t yet warrant one. Fire Marshal Ray Fletcher denied the need for a burn ban and said that while long-range forecasts suggest a local drought during the next three months, sporadic rain has been helpful and recent local fires have not been directly weather-related.
“We are starting to have some fires that are accredited to drier conditions but are mostly from people who have debris piles they’re burning and those get out of hand,” he said on Aug. 12. “Also, we’ve had a few power lines down here and there.”
Fletcher cited a Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KDBI) number of slightly higher than 500 — a less-than-desirable range of dryness — but said careful outdoor burning was still permissible. But Pct. 2 Commissioner B.C. Lemons advised officials to start the ban on Aug. 12, citing recent roadside fires that appeared triggered by careless burning and that only a ban would prevent.
Commissioners then unanimously voted to impose the ban, which may be reversed Monday.
Also on Monday’s agenda:
• Commissioners will possibly approve conducting a roll-call vote regarding the approved 2014 tax rate.
• Commissioners will possibly approve the transfer of money for the purchase of a new computer for the agricultural Extension agent.
• Commissioners will possibly approve combining polling locations and sharing election duties with North Central Texas College and possibly a joint election agreement for the November 2013 election.
• Commissioners will possibly approve moving all remaining election equipment and supplies to the annex building.
• Commissioners will possibly approve polling locations for the November 2013 election.
• Commissioners will possibly approve, deny, or take no action regarding the 2014 Cooke County Appraisal District budget.
• Commissioners will possibly approve the award of bulk road oil bid for a six-month term with two optional three-month renewals.
• Commissioners will possibly approve accepting a check in the amount of $12,315 and approve a property damage release from Amerisure Insurance for damage done by Crawford Services, Inc.
• Commissioners will consider and possibly approve these consent agenda items: fiscal year 2013 budget amendments; monthly bills; payroll and related expenses; an employee blanket bond for the AgriLife Extension Service; sheriff’s office bonds; the 2014 County Choice silver renewal; a business associate agreement between Cooke County EMS and Home Hospice of Cooke County; the annual renewal of the contract between Cooke County Sheriff’s Office and Leads Online; bid specifications and bid advertisement for bulk fuel for the fiscal year 2014; bid specifications and bid advertisement for ground maintenance for Cooke County; acceptance of an additional insurance settlement in the amount of $31,572.20 on a Cooke County Sheriff’s Office 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe that was totaled in an accident in late July 2013; the renewal contract between Cooke County District Attorney and Lexis Nexis for a one-year term with four optional one-year renewals; filing of the quarterly internal audits of the adult probation department, county clerk and district attorney; ratification of the county judge’s signature on a letter accepting 1,106 cubic yards of flex base from the Texas Department of Transportation’s “Ryder 19” project; a contract with Woodbine Water Company to install a water line on County Road 173; a contract with Woodbine Water Supply to install a water line on County Road 162; a contract with Copano Energy for the installation of a natural gas line on County Road 345; the surplus by auction or salvage of two truck bed toolboxes; the surplus by auction or salvage of a 2000 Chevy pickup; the rejection of all Precinct 2 barn bids submitted; the bid specifications and advertisement of the Precinct 2 barn; the EEO-4 report for Cooke County; ratification of the County Judge’s signature on the grant contract between the Cooke County Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Attorney General; a contract for assessment and collection services between Cooke County and the Cooke County Appraisal District; and allowing the Cooke County Library to apply for the ARSL travel assistance grant from the Tocker Foundation.
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