By Becky Brewster
Culberson County Commissioners met in Regular Session on June 18. Commissioners adopted a county-wide burn ban in an effort to reduce the chances of Culberson County being affected by wildfires like those that have been ravaging neighboring counties. With record high temperatures and little rainfall, West Texas is like tinder that could be set off in a second with a spark from a cigarette, an unfortunate lightning strike, or a stray spark from a cookout or campfire. And, with the upcoming Independence Day holiday which brings with it BBQs, parades, and fireworks, there is concern about the possibility of sparking a fire much closer to home. This burn ban does not address the sale of fireworks in the County but does restrict the discharge of fireworks. The Town of Van Horn also has an ordinance that prohibits the sale and discharge of fireworks within the city limits.
The Court also approved the purchase and installation of several HVAC units for individual offices. The high temperatures combined with malfunctioning units have made working conditions uncomfortable for many County employees. New units will be placed in the County Attorney’s office and the Administrative Assistant’s Office. The County will also pay 50% of the cost of a new four-ton unit in the Culberson County Groundwater Conservation District office. These purchases follow on the heels of the purchase of a new unit for the Nutrition Center.
Rita Carrasco, JP Precinct 1, reported on court collections. During the period from October 2017 through May 2018, JP #1 collected over $575,000 compared to collections from the same period in the prior fiscal year of approximately $359,000. The County retains only 60% of these collections while remitting the remaining 40% to the state. Carrasco also reported that a committee for courthouse security has been established.
In other County business, the Court also
- Approved the renewal of a hangar lease with Dr. Garner.
- Approved the renewal of a ground lease with John and Susan DeCoster.
- Approved a Utility Permit for Conoco Philips to cross the Carlsbad County Road.
- Approved renewal of an agreement with Spectra CARE Services for the County Clerk’s Office.
- Approved five tax sale proposals and denied one proposal as submitted by the Culberson County Appraisal District.
- Heard reports on various County Projects.
- Approved monthly reports.
- Approved monthly payroll and expenses for May and payment of current bills.