The Anderson County commissioners’ court OK’d the final draft of an updated tax abatement policy for prospective businesses during a special meeting Thursday afternoon at the Anderson County Courthouse Annex.

Commissioners discussed changes to the policy at a May 11 workshop with Palestine Economic Development Corp. Director Brian Malone, who.

Malone went over with commissioners changes discussed at the workshop and those made by the Palestine City Council. The more inclusive policy has been updated to help local restaurants and other businesses previously ineligible for abatement consideration.

“Businesses still would have to add at least $500,000 to the value of their properties, and create at least five jobs, to qualify for abatement,” Malone explained.

“And even with a policy in place, both the council and commissioners' court have the ability to reject an abatement offer to an incoming business,” he explained.

Anderson County commissioners OK’d the same policy approved by the Palestine City Council at a May 22 meeting.

In other business, the court:

• APPROVED the extension of Government Services Automation (GSA) and Local Government Solutions (LGS) contracts for computer services.

GSA and LGS are the county’s current computer system providers. The contract extensions were approved as a means to overlap the existing system with a new $1 million system being installed by Plano-based Tyler Technologies Inc.

• APPROVED a password and acceptable use policy for county computers.

The two new policies set guidelines for computer and Internet use and dictate a more uniform password system on county computers.

• APPROVED part-time employee for the precinct 4 road and bridge department.

• APPROVED the purchase of new pickup for the precinct 4 road and bridge department.

• APPROVED hiring of employees for budgeted positions in the precinct 2 road and bridge department.

• APPROVED budget amendments.

• APPROVED payroll and bills.

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Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at mrainwater@palestineherald.com

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