Mid-County to seek ESD status
By LPR Staff
Representatives of the Mid-County Volunteer Fire Department came forward on Tuesday morning to ask the Caldwell County Commissioners Court for support in forming an Emergency Services (taxing) District to support fire and rescue operations in their area.
The ESD, which would be the fourth in Caldwe
ll County, would allow for the levy and collection of up to 10 cents per $100 of valuation on improvements, for the funding and operation of the fire and rescue department.
“Our trucks are old, and we want to be able to acquire equipment and enact safety measures,” said Joe Colurciello, the assistant chief at Mid-County. “We want this, not only for the safety of our volunteers, but also for the safety of the residents.”
The Mid-County representatives have circulated a petition, and presumably attained the 100 signatures necessary for the formation of the Emergency Services District.
The next step in the process is a public hearing on the matter, which the Commissioners Court set for Monday, Feb. 23, 2015, at 9:30 a.m. in the Caldwell County Commissioners Courtroom, on the second floor of the Caldwell County Courthouse. After the hearing is held, the matter will be put on a ballot for election among the registered voters within the ESD service area.
In a related item, the Commissioners entered a resolution recognizing one of the founding members of the Mid-County Volunteer Fire Department, Chief Jerry Doyle, who will be retiring at the end of this month after more than 40 years of service to the Lockhart Fire Department.
Doyle, who still serves as Chief for Mid-County, joined the Lockhart Fire Department in 1971.
“It’s the greatest career anyone could every have,” Doyle said after a heartfelt presentation of the resolution in his honor. “I don’t think I could have changed my thoughts about doing anything else.”
In other business, after public complaints last week, newly-minted Commissioner Eddie Moses asked the Court to discuss the recent decision of Caldwell County Clerk Carol Holcomb to close her office during the lunch hour, from noon – 1 p.m.
Although elected officials have the right to set their own office hours independent of the Court’s blessing, Moses said he had several inquiries about the matter, and wondered if it was a question of staffing; he said he would like Holcomb to reconsider the decision.
“This is not a choice that I made lightly,” Holcomb said. “When we were at the Courthouse, we were open during lunch, and we dis a study for a couple of months. Sometimes, we had one or two people come in, but most days, we didn’t have anyone come in during the lunch hour.”
Additionally, Holcomb noted, after the move to the Caldwell County Judicial Center, she noticed hers was the only office in the building open through the lunch hour.
“This is consistent with the operating hours of the new building, and if we had more people coming in during the lunch hour, we wouldn’t have even considered it,” she said.
Additionally, because portions of her staff operate on different software systems in different areas, the concern is that members of the public would come to the office, but not be able to be served by a clerk who was unfamiliar with their needs.
In the end, Holcomb implied she was not going to change her decision, with the support of at least two Commissioners, Joe Roland and Neto Madrigal, who said they were uncomfortable interfering in the office operations of another elected official.