By MARY RAINWATER
The Anderson County Commissioners Court approved a loan for a Sanderson Farms construction project and OK'd an increase in records fees for the county and district clerks' offices during its regular meeting on Tuesday.
The loan, County Judge Robert Johnston explained, is a low-interest loan granted through the East Texas Council of Governments for an amount up to $500,000, which would be split with the Palestine Economic Development Corp. (PEDC).
It has an interest rate of 1.5 to 2 percent and would be backed by the county's general fund.
“When we applied for a $750,000 grant for us and the city, which we ended up getting, we knew we would need additional money for pay construction costs for a road going up to the plant,” Johnston said. “We have already budgeted for these costs in our fund balance, but with this loan, we can pay it out over 10 years and not have to use that fund balance (savings account) money.
“This is a really good thing.”
Following a public hearing on the matter, the court also approved an increase to the records archive fee from $5 to $10 for the county and district clerks' offices, as approved during the last state legislative session.
The records archives fee is for the preservation and restoration services performed by the county or district clerk in connection with maintaining a clerk's records archive.
The fee must be paid at the time a person, excluding a state agency, presents a public document to the county clerk for recording or filing.
“This is just some necessary housekeeping,” Johnston said.
Also on Tuesday, commissioners:
• APPROVED minutes of previous meetings, budget amendments and bills.
• APPROVED renewal of a contract between the Texas Department of State Health Services and Anderson County in order to issue birth certificates from the State website and authorized the Anderson County Clerk to sign the contract.
• APPROVED the appointment of Dr. David Lee Thompson as a Local Health Authority for Anderson County for a two-year term. Thompson currently holds the position for the county.
• APPROVED Resolution R-13-2013 regarding participation in the Indigent Defense Grant Program.
• APPROVED changing Brushy Circle Road in Frankston to ACR 3197.
• AUTHORIZED the auditor’s office to go out for bid on the following items for Operating Year 2014 — paving county roads, septic rock and base stone, iron ore gravel, corrugated metal culvert pipe, road oil (refined) cracked fuel oil, railroad tank car culverts and flatbed cars, asphalt treated road material, bituminous cold patch material, asphaltic concrete hot mix, gasoline and diesel.
• APPROVED paying three county employees vacation pay in lieu of time off, per vacation policy.
• TABLED action on a Premises Use Policy for Anderson County.
Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org