By GREG RUSSELL, Register Staff Writer
Cooke County commissioners lifted the current burn ban during Thursday’s meeting, observant of recent winter storms and heightened moisture.
Officials had cancelled the year’s final regular meeting on Wednesday morning due to winter weather, an apparent factor in lifting the ban, only to resume it Thursday morning.
And Fire Marshal Ray Fletcher said Tuesday’s inch-plus of local rain and “white Christmas” snowfall brought an increase to soil moisture, though he also said the county remains in “extreme drought” status.
“But there is a forecast for rain early in the week — for Sunday through Tuesday — for now,” he said, adding that the recent rains have done little for the county’s ongoing “hydraulic drought” caused by a lack of consistent rainfall. Commissioner Al Smith then motioned to lift the burn ban, and the court agreed unanimously.
Other meeting highlights:
• Commissioners approved a proclamation honoring Cooke County Sheriff Mike Compton, who is scheduled to leave office Tuesday, Jan. 1. County Judge John Roane read the proclamation and credited Compton for his work as sheriff, which began in 1997. Roane also credited Compton for an extensive career of public service that has spanned more than 40 years — including many years as a state trooper and police officer, and an honored stint in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War.
• Commissioners approved these consent agenda items: fiscal year 2012-13 budget amendments; monthly bills; payroll and all related expenses; elected official bonds; a cell phone allowance for district court bailiff Scott Otto; a contract between Cooke County and Xerox for copier services for the DPS Office for a 60-month lease; a contract between Cooke County and Xerox for copier services for the County Judge’s Office for a 60 month lease; the surplus or disposal of a Polaroid Badge Maker, Model #3304 S/N 1002135; the rescinding of an award of drink vending to Pepsi Beverage Company; an interlocal agreement for the North Central Texas Arson Task Force between Cooke County, Denton County, Wise County, City of Denton, City of Decatur, Montague County, City of Gainesville and the City of Bowie; a statement of agreement between the American Red Cross – North Texas Region and Cooke County for emergency/disaster planning services; the fiscal year 2012 audit scope for Cooke County performed by Patillo, Brown, and Hill, LLP; an agreement between Cooke County Justice Center and American BioSource for the purchase of the Cooke County Justice Center Kitchen used oil products for a 12-month period beginning Jan. 1, 2013, and ending Dec. 31, 2013; a contract between the Cooke County Library and Freading; the closing of the Cooke County Library at 4 p.m. Dec. 31; a donation in the amount of $40 to the Cooke County Library in memory of Georgia Insel from Patti Tucker, Sandra Nichols, Norma Leslie, Trice Henry, Gerry Armstrong, Dana Moss, Vicki Camp, Eula Dickey, Brenda Lawson, Barbara McKinney, Connie Neu, Paula Strait and Della Turner; and the filing for record of a quarterly internal audit for the Cooke County Sheriff’s Office.