Pauper’s burials under strict guidelines

By Becky Brewster

If a family is destitute, what options are available when a loved one passes away and there are no funds for a burial?  A section of the cemetery is set aside for pauper’s burials, and under certain circumstances, the County can provide limited assistance with the burial.  County Auditor Mark Cabezuela reviewed the guidelines for the county to provide charitable financial assistance noting that in order for the County to provide any assistance there must be a significant health and safety concern.  A recent request for assistance with a burial did not meet the test for a significant “health and safety concern” since the burial had already taken place.   Therefore, the County could not provide financial assistance to the family.  The Court agreed to adopt written guidelines at a future meeting to ensure there is clarity regarding under what circumstances the County may provide charitable assistance.

Summer Webb, Manager of the Culberson County Groundwater Conservation District, briefed the Court on the history and purpose of the District.  She reported that the District was created in 1997 and is a local taxing entity comprised of a 5-member elected board and is a rule-making authority for the ground water in all but the northern-most part of Culberson County.   Webb noted that one purpose of the District is to protect landowners while also protecting private property rights.   The District recently approved its first export permit which allows the exportation of up to 6000 acre feet per year from the non-potable Capitan Reef Aquifer.  The permit provides for 10 metered wells with three of the wells being used for monitoring purposes.  Webb also noted that 24,000,000 acre feet of water was pumped within the District last year.

The Court also approved the 2017 Tax Roll for collection.  The initial levy is $3,254,717.90.

In other County business, the Court also

• Approved opening a new bank account for the Far West Texas Regional Public Defenders Office.

• Accepted continuing education hours for Commissioner Pct. 4.

• Approved the state bond increase for the Tax Assessor-Collector.

• Appointed Election Judges for Early Voting and Precinct 2.

• Authorized County Clerk to set salary for new employee within budgeted range.

• Approved tax sale.

• Approved Utility Permit No. 17-008 for $11,872.00.

• Approved payment of a bill for flowers for county officials who recently lost loved ones.

• Amended Budget.

• Heard reports on County Projects.

• Approved monthly payroll and expenses for September.


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