Hill County burn ban expires, fireworks decision December 13

Editor: Shannon Cottongame

December 1, 2022

Hill County commissioners discussed the county’s burn ban during a meeting held Tuesday morning, November 22, and opted to let the ban expire at midnight Thursday, November 24.

Emergency Services District (ESD) 1 President Ken Goins told the court that he would like to see the burn ban stay on heading into a potentially dry winter, but with recent rainfall improving ground moisture, the court opted to let the ban expire and revisit the issue.

County Judge Justin Lewis said that conditions will be reassessed at the court’s next regular meeting on December 13, and if the situation worsens before then, a special meeting can be called.
The court will also consider whether to allow aerial firework sales for the holidays based on conditions at the time of the December 13 meeting.

In other action, commissioners approved the purchase of lighting for the veteran memorial on the northeast corner of the courthouse square. The lights that illuminated the memorial were recently removed as the Hillsboro Heritage League works to install period-style light poles on the square. The court approved an expense of $3,300 to install new lights at the memorial.

After receiving bids from several companies, the court accepted a bid from Pattillo Brown & Hill to perform the county’s required audits for 2022 through 2024. The company’s bid came in at about $38,000, while other bids received ranged from approximately $50,000 to $60,000.

The court also approved an extension to the due date for proposals from companies interested in providing inmate medical services. The new due date will be December 15.

Commissioners accepted a $6,000 donation from COH Holdings for repairs to HCR 2131. The company has built several homes on the county road and provided the funds for improvements.

A change order to the agreement with Azbell Electronics to improve the sound system in the district courtroom was approved. Supply chain issues necessitated the purchase of different equipment that came in above the anticipated costs. Commissioners approved an additional expense of $7,052.

Commissioners approved an overlap of training for Shannon Skilling, the incoming Precinct 3 justice of the peace. The court’s action will allow Skilling to begin the extensive JP training before taking office.

A final plat was approved for the Wideman addition, which involves three lots of approximately one acre each on HCR 2106.

The court also canvassed the results of the recent general election, and approved an agreement related to the Statewide Automated Victim Notification Service grant that allows victims to be notified of release dates and other offender status alerts.

The court’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be Tuesday, December 13, at 8:30 a.m. in the Hill County Courtroom of the courthouse.

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