By CHRIS AGEE
PALO PINTO – Palo Pinto County Commissioners did not adopt a policy at Monday's regular meeting, but they did discuss the implementation of minimum infrastructure standards for rental manufactured home communities.
County Judge David Nicklas said officials looked at models from three other communities but did not believe any one set of standards would efficiently meet the needs of Palo Pinto County.
"It's something we probably need to do, but I don't know if we have the expertise to do all these things," Nicklas said.
He explained the standards should focus on major issues such as drainage, noting the county is growing and such infrastructure regulation is needed to support that future growth.
A grandfather clause could be included, he said, to cover existing communities.
Nicklas suggested revisiting the issue after the county's engineering department drafted a document specifically for Palo Pinto County.
Watson succeeds Allen as auditor
District Judge Mike Moore announced retiring County Auditor Sharon Allen's replacement at commissioner's court Monday.
He explained Allen will be leaving her post next month and has helped in the process of selecting her successor.
"It fell upon me to find a new county auditor," Moore said, naming Steve Watson as his choice.
Watson has worked with Allen in the past, Moore added.
"I know he's really excited about the job and that excites me, too," Moore said.
Watson spoke briefly, saying, "I appreciate the opportunity very much. I'm looking forward to this."
Independent audit and monthly reports
The presentation of the county's Fiscal Year 2012 independent audit by Edgin, Parkman, Fleming and Fleming was overall very positive.
Michael Edgin explained assets during the year were $21.2 million while liabilities accounted for $2.4 million.
Property tax made up $7.8 million and sales tax added another $1.5 million. He explained the total accounted for an increase of about $1.5 million over the previous year.
Breaking down the county's balance sheet, Edgin noted the general fund contained $7.5 million with liabilities totaling $525,000.
With revenues of $12.7 million and expenditures of $12 million, the county's ending general fund balance was $743,000. The county originally budgeted a $347,000 deficit, he said, which means the county outperformed projections by more than $1 million.
Sharon Allen presented the auditor's monthly report Monday morning, indicating general fund revenue stood at $7,755,521 with expenditures of $4,456,295. She added 83 percent of property taxes have been paid and sales tax payments saw an increase of 5 percent.
Sheriff Ira Mercer presented his monthly report, noting deputies received 45 civil papers, issued 29 citations and gave 12 warnings.
Officers went on 545 calls, made 60 arrests, and logged 42,786 miles. Throughout the month, 125 inmates were booked into the county jail.
As of Monday, 86 were in custody.