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Debbie Mitchell: Proposed County Property Tax Rate To Remain Same for 2019-2020

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State officials urge agencies to take ‘aggressive action’ to stop FM 71 flooding

The regular portion of Tuesday’s Hopkins County Commissioners Court meeting took only about 10 minutes, just long enough to hold a brief public hearing for the county property tax rate, and for commissioners to approve one line item transfer and acknowledge a resolution made by Sen. Bob Hall. The commissioners court then entered into an executive session.

Tax hearing

Hopkins County Tax Assessor-Collector Debbie Pogue Mitchell said the proposed county property tax rate is unchanged.

A public hearing was held for the county tax rate. No citizens were present to speak or comment on the proposed tax rate.

“We are proposing a tax rate $0.624892, the same as the preceding year’s tax rate. The county’s effective rate was $0.577457 and the rollback rate was 0.625556. So we are above our effective rate and below our rollback rate. That is what we are having the hearing for,” said Hopkins County Tax Assessor-Collector Debbie Pogue Mitchell.

“A lot of things we put off until next Monday, which will be the day we plan at this time to pass the budget for 2019-2020,” Hopkins County Judge Robert Newsom said.

If the budget is adopted during the Sept. 9 meeting, which begins at 9 a.m., the court will then consider approving the county property tax rate as recommended, according to Mitchell.

Fire Inspection

The judge entered into the public record the annual inspection of county buildings conducted by Sulphur Springs Fire Department.

The report, the judge said, revealed the courthouse to be in good shape, with no violations. The sprinkler system and alarms were serviced in August 2019.

“These days, I’m putting a lot of things in the record because a lot of times we at the courthouse will go, ‘What happened back then?’ If it’s in the record, we have it. So, we’re going to go ahead and put that report in,” said Newsom.

Line Item Transfer

Commissioners also approved a request for a line item transfer of $1,500 from the veterans affairs office’s schools and training fund to the treasurer’s office.

“It’s for training that he’s about to attend. He needs to get a rental car, etc. So, he needs the funds,” said County Auditor Shannah Walker.

FM 71 Bridge Resolution

The Commissioners Court also acknowledged and entered into the public record Resolution passed by Sen. Bob Hall and Rep. Reggie Smith urging Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Texas Department of Transportation and the U.S. Army “Corps of Engineers to “take aggressive action regarding the obstruction of the South Sulphur River in order to alleviate flooding and environmental hazards.”

Newsom said the resolution resulted from a meeting held in Greenville, where the FM 71 flooding, including the bridge that crosses the Sulphur River Basin south of Cooper Lake near the Delta and Hopkins County boundary.

Executive Session

The court then adjourned the regular session to move to the third floor for an executive session, which the court agenda indicated was to discuss a real property matter and contract negotiation.

Newsom said matters would be discussed, but he did not at that time anticipate being ready to take action on any of the items discussed during the closed session. The sheriff and county fire chief were requested for the executive session, along with one other person, reportedly a Sulphur Springs-Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation representative.

When the closed session concluded, the court reported not action from the session and the court adjourned.

Work Session

Following the executive session, the commissioner court was slated to enter into a work session.

Tom Glosup was slated to discuss maintenance and construction of county buildings. Hopkins County Fire Chief Andy Endsley was slated to discuss fire department operations, revenue and expenditures, and any proposals for improvements and repairs for HCFD.

Commissioners also during the session have the option of entering into a routine budget work session.

Hopkins County Commissioners Court

Author: Faith Huffman

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