Monday's one-hour Commissioner's Court agenda largely included formalities with regard to the business of governing Gaines County, but Judge Lance Celander and the four precinct commissioners did visit the subject of pay increases for all County employees and elected officials. With no input from the visitor's gallery, the Court approved an across-the-board cost of living adjustment of 3% for the coming fiscal year.
Also with little debate, the Court approved the 2014 budget, as well as the proposed tax rates for the County, necessary to cover a projected 23.6 million annual budget. County Auditor Rick Dollohan pointed out the fact that, in this area, tax collections are in large part subject to the ebb and flow of the oil and gas market, and emphasized that the Court had been diligent in keeping tax rates down.
The soon-to-retire Shaun McDonald, the current golf pro assigned to the Gaines County Golf Course, returned to the court to correct an error on the dates for the remaining 12 golf course events scheduled through the end of the year. The previously announced September 19th date for the NTPGA Fall Junior Tour will actually be held on October 19th. That and the remaining tournament dates received unanimous approval. The Commissioners also assigned a document allowing Judge Celander to speak on their behalf with regard to McDonald's replacement and the participation of the PGA in the process, as per its Career Links Employer Agreement.
The Court also approved the ongoing SAVNS maintenance contract. SAVNS is the Statewide Automated Victim Notification Service that advises victims of crime of the status of persons convicted of such crimes. Also approved were four contracts for juvenile residential and detention services, primarily from Randall County, and a resolution regarding the disposition of surplus books, electronic equipment, and other items from the Gaines County Library, Seminole and Seagraves branches.
With swift approval by the Court, September 22nd will see bidding open for caliche/water contracts for the Precinct 1 County Energy Reinvestment Transportation Zone. As part of the state’s transportation code, the CERTZ funds are designed to promote infrastructure projects in areas affected by energy development and the resulting heavy traffic. The Commissioners also signed off on a resolution authorizing the Court as signatories for the state Transportation Infrastructure Fund through the Texas Department of Transportation.