County approves burn ban

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Madison County remains under a burn ban, despite receive more than 15 inches of rain over the weekend due to Hurricane Harvey, as the Commissioner’s Court on Aug. 23 approved the ban during a special meeting.

In his remarks, County Judge C.E. McDaniel said that he wasn’t sure the ban would be necessary, given that Hurricane Harvey was due to make landfall two days hence, but left it to the will of the council.

McDaniel had earlier in the week placed the ban in the county as an emergency measure, but it needed approval by the court, which it did unanimously.

Also at the meeting, the county approved switching the county’s health insurance from a plan by Scott & White to Humana.

The chief difference is that Humana is cheaper, and does not have an out-of-pocket maximum; instead, any procedure comes with a co-pay, including office visits.

The county also denied a refund of $77.98 to Miklyn Stone Bourn of payment of penalties and interest on property taxes, stating that Bourn refuses to provide a proper mailing address or contact information, as required by law.

In a subsequent budget meeting, the county, instead of a proposed $1 per hour raise across the board for county employees, instead decided to allow all departments a 4 percent raise, to be doled out as the department head sees fit.

The court also approved the hiring of an additional deputy that also will perform bailiff duties for the District Court.

In a regular meeting on Monday, the county approved an agreement between Madison County and Lubbock County for defense counsel in capital murder cases.

McDaniel said that these cases can put a financial burden on smaller counties, and this gives Madison County some extra help.

The county also proclaimed the week of Sept. 17-23 as Constitution Week.

Commissioners Carl Cannon and Ricky Driskell were absent from Monday’s meeting.

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