Fiscal court sets 2015 tax rates

Posted August 27, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Clinton County Fiscal Court approved the 2015 county tax rates, as well as approving other taxing district rates as presented at its regular meeting last Thursday evening, August 21 with all magistrates present.

After approving the monthly treasurer’s report, fund transfers, voting to pay claims and bills and approving second reading of a 2014-15 fiscal year budget amendment, the court was presented the county’s tax rate options by County Treasurer Dallas Sidwell.

The court voted unanimously to approve the compensating rate on property taxes at 6.5 cents per $100 assessed value following a motion by Magistrate Ricky Craig. The court had the option of taking the state allotted four percent increase which would have set the property tax rate at 6.7, but the county opted for the lower, compensating rate. Also by unanimous vote on a motion by Magistrate Mickey Riddle, the court voted to keep the tax on motor vehicle and watercraft the same a 7.80 cents.

Clinton County Librarian Gayla Duvall then presented the proposed library rates to the court, along with other information about the library and services it had provided over the past year. Following the presentation, the court voted unanimously to approve the library rates at 5.4 cents on real property and 5.09 on personal property.

Christy Nuetzman, representing the Extension Service, made a similar presentation and tax proposal for that taxing district, with the court approving the proposed rates of 5.7 on real property, 11.45 on personal property and 2.0 on motor vehicles.

The Soil Conservation District had not met to propose a rate for the coming year, and its proposed rates will be presented at next month’s court meeting.

Following the votes on tax rates, the court voted unanimously to renew the contract with Jackie Spears for four years as the county’s electrical inspector, with inspection fees to remain unchanged.

On a recommendation by Judge/Executive Lyle Huff and a motion by Magistrate Hershell Key, the court approved two library board appointments through 2018, including Linda Barnett and Pam Morgan.

Judge Huff then presented the court members with a map of the area around the 911 dispatch center and new fire station property, noting that the piled up dirt in that vicinity needed to be dealt with or put to some type use in the future. No official action was taken on that matter last week.

Magistrate Terry Buster then questioned Director of Emergency Services Lonnie Scott about a concern some of his constituents had brought to his attention about the Code Red weather alert system. Apparently during a recent tornado warning that was issued in the county, not everyone was warned by the system.

Scott explained that as of this point, the system alerted only the residents that were in the “direct path” of the tornado citing. However, he informed the court they are in the process of being able to alert everyone in the county when a warning goes out by triggering a code number that will activate every phone in the county. He estimated that system should be online in a couple of weeks and once the website is available, it would be publicized.

Apparently once the new code number system is in place, anyone wishing to get automatic weather alerts can do so by either cell phone (call or text) and home computer and land line phones in the county will receive automatic calls. More details on the Code Red alert system will be published in the coming weeks.

The court then entered into a 40-minute closed session on personnel. Upon returning to open session, they voted unanimously to hire Billy W. Brown on the road department, full-time, effective October 3, at $8.50 per hour.

Prior to adjourning, Magistrate Key, on behalf of Pauline Conner of the Clinton County Farm Bureau, invited everyone present at the meeting to the annual Clinton County Farm Bureau membership dinner that will be held Thursday, September 11 at 6 p.m. at the fairgrounds building.

The next regular meeting of Clinton Fiscal Court is scheduled for September 18 at 5 p.m. and is open to the public.