During Monday's regularly scheduled meeting of the Mason County Commissioner's Court, Sheriff Buster Nixon discussed the ongoing problem of having to handle loose livestock around the county. A look at the Sheriff's 911 call report on page 5 of this issue reveals that the Sheriff's department spends an inordinate amount of time putting up livestock that have gotten through fences and on to public roadways.
Sheriff Nixon explained that, in many instances, it is the same livestock or same group of livestock that are having to be put up, sometimes several times in one day. His deputies respond to the calls and take care of the matter; but, it pulls them away from other duties and does not allow them to maintain the level of preparedness he would prefer.
He informed the Court that laws, and fines, are already on the books that would allow him to fine the owners for allowing their livestock to roam. He and Justice of the Peace Tammie Bowman talked about the amount of the fine for such infractions, and he told the Court that he wanted to begin by issuing warning citations for a period, followed by actual ticketing of offenders.
In other action, Commissioner Eldon Kothmann reported that he had received constituent complaints about County road crew workers not actually working their full shifts. Mr. Kothmann told the court that he had monitored the employees for a few days and also had seen evidence of employees leaving before their 3:30 p.m. clock-out time.
Squeaky Farmer, Road Department Supervisor, told the Court that he would discuss schedules and work times with the employees and clarify that the work times are 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with a half hour lunch. He also told the Court that the road crew tries to coordinate locations and schedules so as to make most efficient use of equipment, material and transportation.
The Court opened bids for a water line project, in conjunction with the City of Mason. City Engineer Jim Blackwell opened the bids for the Court and reported each bid proposal. He asked the Court to allow him some time to examine each of the proposals and to report back to them at a later meeting with recommendations.
The Court also opened bids for County depository. Currently, the County uses Mason National Bank as their depository. Bids were received from Mason National, The Commercial Bank and First State Bank Central Texas.
Commissioner Wayne Hofmann suggested that the county go with the bid of The Commercial Bank, based upon their higher rates for long term certificates of deposit. Treasurer Polly McMillan reminded the Court that the County investment policy does not allow them to invest in anything longer than a 12-month CD, so those rates would not actually matter. The Court noted that, on all other rates, Mason National and The Commercial Bank were almost identical.
Commissioner Hofmann moved to accept The Commercial Bank's bid and the motion was seconded by Commissioner Stanley Toeppich and the motion passed unanimously. Commissioner Hofmann asked that the investment policy be put on a future agenda so that the Court could consider longer term investments.
The Court voted to allow Hill Country Telephone Cooperative to bury fiber optic cable along multiple roadways in the western portion of Mason County.
The meeting adjourned at 11:52 a.m.