By CHRIS AGEE
Carl Blacksten, Emergency Services District No. 1 treasurer, presented the agency's 2012 annual financial report to Palo Pinto County Commissioners Monday morning.
He clarified the report differs from the yearly audit, which is still being prepared.
According to Blacksten's presentation, the ESD began 2012 with a $233,372 budget.
Tax revenue throughout the year totaled $767,040, he said, which constitutes a slight improvement over the $765,277 budgeted for such deposits.
A much smaller portion of the ESD's revenue comes from interest payments, Blacksten said. He noted the agency received $929.63 in such deposits – just slightly greater than the $900 budgeted.
The ESD spent $779,781, dipping into its cash reserves, Blacksten said.
He explained a budget amendment will cover the $11,811.31 discrepancy.
Chief among the agency's expenditures are the county's 11 volunteer fire departments, he added, which received a combined $715,000 from the district last year.
Other expenses included appraisal and audit fees, insurance costs, advertising, workshop registration and travel
• County Fire Marshal Buddy Harwell described December as "pretty easy," explaining he responded to five fires, of which most were burn ban investigations. Additionally, he conducted three inspections and attended three meetings.
He said two fireworks stands were open in the county during New Year's weekend, both of which reported good sales.
Though fireworks were sold, he said there were "no calls and no reports of any fires because of them."
Harwell said he is currently investigating a number of fires in the county, adding, "This month has been pretty busy."
• County Public Works Director David McDonald presented his department's monthly report, explaining permits were issued for six new structures and four existing structures during the month of December.
Of the $3,000 collected from those permits, $2,900 went into the general fund and the remaining $100 was earmarked for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
• According to County Treasurer Tanya Fallin's monthly report, the county ended December with $8,850,222.36 in funds on hand.
She said tax revenue has already begun coming into the county coffers, noting she was able to purchase a $2 million certificate of deposit last week.
In other business, commissioners:
• Approved a contract with Municipal Consulting Agency for management services for an ongoing Texas Community Development Block Grant project.
• Approved a contract with Burgess and Niple for engineering services for the same project.
• Took no action on the burn ban enacted last week during a special session meeting of commissioner's court.
"I'd like to leave it on, as is," Harwell told commissioners.
County Judge David Nicklas said many in the community expressed appreciation after the county recently reinstated the ban.