County employees honored

The Nolan County Commissioners met for their first regular meeting of 2012 on Monday morning, Jan. 9 at the Nolan County Courthouse.Five county employees were presented with service awards during the meeting. Jeanne Wells was honored for five years of service as a County Auditor Assistant, while 10-year honors went to Israel Vera and Tracy Jeter for serving as a Sheriff's Department Jailer and the Precinct 3 Equipment Operator, respectively.Recognized for 15 years of service to the county were Sheriff David Warren as well as District Attorney Ann Reed--who was not in attendance.Also in the meeting, a presentation was given by Bob Forman on providing electric service for county facilities. He gave an information packet for commissioners to browse through during the presentation, which highlighted the company, their notable clients and a review and breakdown of the market.Priority Power Management is one of the largest energy buyers in Texas with over 1,200 clients statewide and also has national accounts. Some of the notable clients in the area include Abilene Christian University and McMurry University, among others.The market has seen some change as a result of transmission lines, as well as the intense weather seen in the summer as well as the winter. New national regulations from the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) have also prompted some change at the state level. However, some of those new EPA rules could have a negative effect on the market and result in jobs lost.Other factors that pressure the market include the cost of new builds, the state-wide drought--which puts a strain on pipes in plant facilities, and other weather anomalies such as Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike--which have also made an impact on natural gas.Costs were also given during the meeting in regards to delivery as well as the current market pricing from Friday, Jan. 6, 2012. An outlook of the costs as well as the projected spending reductions were also shown to conclude the presentation.The commissioners also approved to leave the burn ban off for the next two weeks as a result of the recent precipitation received.The minutes from the Dec. 27, 2011 meeting were additionally approved, and reports from the Nolan County Auditor and Treasurer were received and approved as well.