The Commissioners’ Court of Cooke County met Monday with a full agenda including a 30 minute presentation by Nathan Vajdos of the OWN Wind Energy company regarding the Muenster Wind Farm Project and a requested 50 percent tax abatement to get the project built. Without the tax abatement, Vajdos said the Muenster Wind Farm would not get built today.
Vajdos said over 50 different landowners including farmers, ranchers, retirees, business owners and electric coop employees have signed leases for the project.
To get the project underway, Vajdos said the 50 percent abatement was estimated at $1.3 million over five years. Vajdos said over 10 years, the returns to Cooke County would be $3.5 million with $790,000 to the road and bridge fund and over 20 years, a return of $6.8 million to Cooke County with $1.5 million for the road and bridge fund.
“The project will also supply eight to 10 permanent jobs and 350 jobs during the construction phase,” he said.
Regarding a precedence on the tax abatement agreement, Vajdos said that commissioners approved a tax abatement agreement with Schlumberger Technology Corporation with agreement terms including a 50 percent reduction in tax fees for up to a 10-year period in 2012.
Court approved a consent agenda which included the following items:
* Consider and possibly approve the Jan. 26 regular meeting minutes.
* Consider and possibly approve the reports from all county departments.
* Considered and possibly approved FY2015 budget amendments.
* Consider and possibly approve all county monthly bills,
* Consider and possibly approve all payroll and related expenses.
* Consider and possibly approve the annual maintenance agreement between Cooke County and BounceBack for hot check software for the county attorney’s office beginning March 1, 2015 and ending April 30, 2016.
* Consider and possibly approve the salvage of three non-working SP50 handheld radios and miscellaneous chargers and adapters from the county Fire Marshal’s office.
* Consider and possibly approve the surplus by auction or salvage of large sheet metal cutters, Baldor table grinder, spool gun welder and advertisement for the same from Road and bridge Pct. 2,.
* Consider and possibly approve the surplus by auction or salvage of a 1994 Freightliner tractor brush hog mower deck, sign trailer with generator, 1991 TrailKing flatbed trailer, non working air compressor pump, miscellaneous light and breaker boxes, tire machine and charger, s/n 1949 , truck tool box, eight foot yard trailer, 2008 Road Groom and advertisement for the same from Road and Bridge, Pt 2.
* Commissioners considered and possibly approved the agreement between Cooke county and Security Signal Device, Inc. for alarm services at the Justice of the Peace, Pct. 4 building beginning January 21, 2015 and ending January 20, 2016 with two optional one year renewals.
* Consider and possibly approve the transfer of non-working Motorola 1225 handheld radio from Cooke county fire marshal to Cooke County Road and Bridge.
Consider and possibly approve accepting an additional insurance settlement on Cooke county Road and Bridge Pct. 3’s damaged barn in the amount of $16,374,83.
* Receive and file for record the quarterly internal audit of the compliance Office, EMS Juvenile Probation, District Clerk, Adult Probation and Constable, Pct. 4.
* Consider and possibly approve bid specifications for the Cooke County Depository Contract and advertisement of the same.
• Consider and possibly approve accepting an insurance settlement in the amount of $5,918.02 for a Road and Bridge Pct. 3 trailer that was damaged.
* Consider and possibly approve the sale by auction or salvage of a 2007 Chevy Tahoe from the Sheriff’s Office awarded via judgment forfeiture and advertisement for the same.
* Receive and file for record Constable, Pct 1’s racial profiling report for 2014.
* Consider and possibly approve a donation in the amount of $10 to the Cooke county Library from Lauren Moretti for research.
* Consider and possibly approve a donation in the amount of $14.32 to the Cooke County Library from anonymous donors.
*Consider and possibly approve surplus and donations of miscellaneous books from the Cooke County Library to the Cooke county Friends of the Library.
* Consider and possibly approve the indigent cremation of Angela Kaye Mcghee.
* Consider and possibly approve changing the authorized official from John O. Roane to Jason Brinkley, county Judge for the CERTZ Grant Program.
* Consider and possibly approve the bid specifications for sealed bids for road aggregate and advertisement of the same.
* Consider and possibly approve allowing the Hazardous Household Waste Collection Event to be held on April 18, 2015 at the Cooke County Justice Center property located at 300 County Road 451, Gainesville, Texas 76240
Not on the consent agenda, Commissioners’ consider and possibly approved the reallocation of the District Attorney’s State Supplement, moving forfeiture funds to payroll and adding an additional employee for a two month period.
* Consider and possibly approve the appointment of Ray Fletcher, as County Fire Marshal and Eric Coverley, as Assistant Fire Marshal for a two year term.
* Consider and possibly approve funding the tuition fee in the amount of $2,800 so that Jason Brinkley, /county Judge, may become a member of the commissioners’ Cur Leadership Academy and funding additional conference expense for the same not to exceed $1,000.
*Consider and possibly approve the annual renewal agreement and price increase between Cooke County and Schad and Pulte Welding Supply, Inc. for oxygen cylinders and welding supplies.
Additional information regarding a year’s contract in pricing versus a monthly payment per unit was requested.
The annual renewal agreement between Cooke County and Schindler Elevator Services for elevator maintenance services at the Cooke County Annex building was approved.
*Consideration and possibly approval of a resolution supporting the display of the motto “IN God We Trust” on a plaque in the Cooke County Commissioner’s Courtroom.
Commissioner Leon Klement said despite personal opinion he could not approve the purchase of said plaque with tax payer money unless the funds for the plaque was donated.
The purchase of a plaque in the amount of $105. 44 was approved after donation of the fund was made by citizen Ken Arterbury, in attendance at court.
Court considered and approved moving the $9500 in funds allocated to the Oak Ridge Volunteer fire Department, now disbanded, in a one-time 50-50 split between neighboring volunteer fire stations Indian Creek and Callisburg.
Callisburg assistant fire chief Mike Musick was on hand with facts for the court.
“Since the Oak Ridge volunteer fire department quit operations, we have seen an increase in our call volume by at least half,” Musick said. “Of the calls last month, 27 were in the Callisburg area and 14 were in the former Oak Ridge district.
Commissioner Al Smith agreed with the fairness of the one-time disbursement of funds and Court approved the disbursement of funds.
“The people affected by this should receive the funds,” Smith said.
Commissioners approved the disbursement to Indian Creek and Callisburg by a vote of four to one, with Leon Klement voting nay.
*Court considered and possibly approved any necessary action regarding the Texas Department of Transportation’s County Transportation Infrastructure Fund Grant Program.
District attorney Janice Warder introduced attorney John Warren who would be joining her office as the first assistant district attorney, replacing Ron Poole who recently retired from the office after a 40 year career.
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