Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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July 14, 2014

Fire departments petition to create new fire district

By TODD GLASSCOCK

PALO PINTO – Palo Pinto County Commissioners accepted a petition for the creation of a second county Emergency Services District in Precinct 4, which covers Santo, Lone Camp and Brazos.

Santo Volunteer Fire Chief Logan Loftin said he hopes a vote on the district will move forward, now that commissioners have accepted the petition.

For the petition to be placed on the ballot in November’s general election, signatures will be verified by the election administrator and commissioners will then have to certify it, County Judge David Nicklas said.

At the moment, with just one district serving all of the county, funding is limited, Loftin said, and the second district is needed because the amount of EMS calls the department’s ambulance goes to has increased. Santo’s EMS fields Lone Camp and Brazos EMS calls, as well as all of the people along the Erath and Parker County lines.

“It’s got to where we do so many calls we’ve got to do something,” he said.

He said if the establishment of a second district goes to vote, funding would come from sales tax.

“We are going to support this with sales tax and not property tax,” he said.

New growth in the area has caused growth in sales taxes, he said.

Commissioners also approved the fiscal year 2015 budget for the Juvenile Probation Department.

A portion of that budget will go to hiring a juvenile case manager for three days each week, said department head Robert Kimbrell. Costs will be offset through the City of Mineral Wells.

A juvenile case manager would address juvenile criminal cases as quickly as possible to prevent a child from getting into more trouble, he said.

Additionally, Nicklas presented the Palo Pinto County Historical Commission with the 2013 Distinguished Service Award for its excellence in preserving the county’s history.

The commission is comprised of members of the commissioners court and nominated citizens of the county and is dedicated to preserving, protecting and promoting history within the county. The commission is in charge of many projects including setting up historical markers, providing historical tours and researching and maintaining historical sites.

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