Brownwood News -The Brown County Commissioners Court met Monday morning, June 22, with Commissioner Joel Kelton presiding. Also present were Commissioners Gary Worley, Larry Traweek, and Wayne Shaw. County Judge Paul Lilly was absent.
After much discussion, Brown County Commissioners approved a new real estate plat on a split vote of 3-1. Attorney Ray West, representing Jay McInnis of Dominion Point, Inc., submitted for approval the Dominion Point IV plat, which amends the Dominion Point III plat, approved on 8-19-19.
The Dominion Point III plat has seven lots, 1 through 7, and the new Dominion Point IV plat adds three new lots, 8 through 10. County Surveyor Don King informed the Court that he has not reviewed the new plat and thus has not approved it. That initiated a discussion on whether the Court can or should approve the plat without the approval of the County Surveyor.
West said that King had looked at the new plat and suggested some changes, which were made. King said that is very likely true, but still he has not reviewed the plat being submitted to the Court today, and could not approve it until he does have a chance to review it. When asked when he could review the plat, King said he could look at it on Tuesday, June 23.
County Attorney Shane Britton said that all the reference points on the two plats are the same, the new lots being the only difference. In his opinion, there is no problem with the new plat, even without a review by the County Surveyor. Britton pointed out that the approval of the Commissioners Court is what makes a plat legal, not the approval of the Surveyor. The Commissioners have the legal authority to approve a plat with or without the approval of the County Surveyor.
Precinct Two Commissioner Joel Kelton suggested that they give King time to review the plat, and then the Court could vote on the matter next week. West asked for approval today, as a real estate transaction is pending, and time is of the essence.
Precinct Three Commissioner Wayne Shaw moved that they approve the plat as presented, with instructions to the filer to correct any discrepancies that may be found by the County Surveyor. The motion passed 3-1, with Shaw, Gary Worley, and Larry Traweek voting yes, Joel Kelton voting no.
Lisa Dick of the Brown County Health Department presented the latest numbers on the COVID-19 pandemic. Brown County has had 815 tests with 62 positive results, 48 have recovered, 5 active cases, 2 hospitalized. Dick said the two most recent positive cases were acquired in Brown County, which is worrisome. She reminded the Court that the Health Department is still recommending at-risk persons to stay home, others should maintain 6-ft distancing, wear masks, and wash hands frequently.
James Masters of the Brown County Veterans Service Office asked for a transfer of $1200 from the travel budget to purchase two software packages. The Veterans Administration is no longer accepting claims via fax, so his office needs new software to file claims electronically. There is surplus money in the travel budget, because travel has been restricted by the COVID pandemic. The request was approved 4-0.
Masters also submitted his annual report of the Veterans Service Office. Brown County currently has 2,962 veterans. Two-hundred seven are veterans of World War II, 325 from the Korean War, 1036 from Vietnam, 355 from Desert Storm, 444 from Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, and 595 from the Cold War and other periods of service. He cited a direct economic benefit of $16,195,000 in federal benefits to Brown County veterans through compensation and pension to service/non-service connected veterans, their widows, and other programs.
In other business:
*** The Commissioners voted to keep the current burn ban in place.
*** Approved 4-0 a resolution requested by City of Brownwood Fire Marshall Buddy Preston to file its Hazard Mitigation Plan as an extension to the Brown County Hazard Mitigation Plan.
*** Approved 4-0 the installation of a private water line on CR 201 by Brookesmith Special Utility District.
***Approved 4-0 the installation of a private water line on CR 291 by Zephyr Water Supply.
*** Approved 4-0 the payment of all bills submitted.