Finances, purchases discussed at county meeting

The Nolan County Commissioners met for their regular meeting on Monday morning, August 13, 2012 at the Nolan County Courthouse.A discussion was held regarding a request from Nolan County Sheriff David Warren to make an exception to the travel guidelines to reimburse out-of-state travel expenses incurred on June 17-30, 2012 for a deputy sheriff for training.Sheriff Warren noted that some personnel changes resulted in the placement of a new DARE officer for the Roscoe, Blackwell and Highland schools for the upcoming school year. However, no DARE training classes were offered in the state before the start of the school year or through the end of the calendar year.Thus, the DARE officer had to undergo training in Las Vegas, Nevada. All of the expenses were paid for, in which Sheriff Warren noted that the cost came out at a lower cost compared to paying for in-state training.Now that the DARE officer is certified to teach, he will start up his program in September, which allows the county to keep their commitments to the schools while saving the county money.But following the presentation, Precinct 4 Commissioner Tony Lara stated that he had "mixed feelings" on the matter because the sheriff should have got permission prior to the training instead of after the fact. Lara stated that employees are not to go out of state for meetings, and that this issue might open the door for future, similar instances.Sheriff Warren noted that he did talk to people before sending the deputy for training; while he doesn't expect for this to be an issue again, he said that in future instances he would present the matter as an action item to the commissioners before the training.However, Tommy White, Precinct 3 Commissioner, asked if there was enough money in the DARE funds to cover the costs. He made the motion for the trip to be paid for by the DARE funds, which was approved in a two-to-one vote. (Precinct 1 Commissioner Terry Locklar was not in attendance at the meeting.)In other action items, approval was given for the voter registrar, Kathy Bowen, to purchase a replacement printer for the elections computer with state funds. The current printer does not have the duplex printing capabilities needed and quotes were obtained, with Your Way Computer Tech Team offering a printer with installation for $1700. The state funds totaled at $2,200 and had to be used before the deadline set at the end of August. Another purchase approved was from a request from County Clerk Pat McGowan to purchase three water-damaged Fire King cabinets for $1,000, which will be paid from her records management fund, pending their availability as the items were slated to be placed on an auction block on Monday.Approval was also given to pay the grant writer's fee for the SECO grant for the new 60 ton chiller. The chiller came in at the approximate cost of $60,000; the fee from the grant writer was 7% of the cost, totaling around $4,030.30.Additionally approved was the change of term life insurance to Texas Association of Counties (TAC). The commissioners were presented with a comparison sheet, with TAC offering significantly lower prices.The renewal agreement with Digital Air Control, Inc., the company in charge of the air conditioning at the Courthouse, was approved as well. Also, a public hearing was set and approved for Monday, August 27 at 9 a.m. for records management and archives for District Clerk Patti Neill.The burn ban was approved to remain in effect in Nolan County until the next appointed court meeting date, and the minutes from the July 23, 2012 meeting were approved. In addition, reports from the Nolan County Auditor, Tax Office, Treasurer, Clerk and Sheriff's Office were received and approved.Later in the day, the commissioners gathered for a budget workshop of the 2012-2013 budget. However, one particular item was tabled during the morning session--the approval of an agreement between West Texas Centers and Nolan County for mental health and developmental services--in order to learn more about the issue.