County Commissioners approve sale of annex

Editor: Shannon Cottongame

July 28, 2022

The Hill County Commissioners Court approved the sale of the county annex at 200 East Franklin Street during a special meeting held Tuesday, July 19.

The court approved a contract with Waco Housing Authority, which plans to purchase the property for $772,000 pending approval by its board of directors. The contract includes a special provision that allows the county to lease space in the building for the tax office and other areas utilized by the county until the Covington Street annex renovation is completed.

The contract allows the county to lease office space for $4,500 per month for a term of six months. County Judge Justin Lewis said that offices are expected to be relocated to Covington Street by January, but the agreement allows for extensions if necessary.

The sale is part of the county’s overall effort to consolidate locations and decrease expenditures on buildings that are cost-prohibitive to maintain.

The court also voted to increase its fee for 9-1-1 addressing and flood plain applications. Lewis said that the current fee of $50 is not covering expenditures for signs, installation, trips to locations throughout the county and other expenses related to flood plain certification checks and addressing.

The judge said that the county does not need to make a profit on the process, but the fee does need to cover expenses. The court voted to increase the fee to $100 effective August 1.

Commissioners reviewed medical insurance proposals for the coming fiscal year presented by the county’s insurance broker, Anco Insurance.

Blue Cross Blue Shield offered the best rate, which is an 8.89 percent increase from last year. Lewis said that this is better than expected. The broker reported that the county is headed in the right direction with its claims, which have been high in the past and made the county less attractive to insurance companies.

The court was expected to take action on an insurance plan at its next meeting after county officials have a chance to review the document.

In open forum, Assistant County Attorney Miki Alvarado told the court about the upcoming Designer Purse Bingo fund raiser that will benefit the Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children and CASA of Hill County.

Alvarado, who sits on the Advocacy Center’s board, said that tickets are still available, and all proceeds will benefit the two organizations.

Lewis reported that he expects to file a proposed county budget for the coming fiscal year by the end of the month. Appraised values have been received from the Hill County Appraisal District and show a significant increase in new construction.

The Hill County Tax Office is working on tax rate calculations that will be used by the court as budget discussions continue ahead of the finalization of the county budget and tax rate.

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