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County considers increased service fees

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

In response to ongoing conversation with the Caldwell County Constables, the Caldwell County Commissioners” Court considered raising fees for civil process service.
The proposal, first introduced by the constables last month, would enable both the county and the constables to make additional money for serving civil notic

es, such as subpoenas and legal papers. However, the commissioners, as well as Sheriff Daniel Law, expressed concern about a fee increase during the Court”s regular meeting on Monday morning.
“I don”t have a problem with some of the increases,” Law said. “But I am concerned a little bit about the warrants.”
County Judge HT Wright is also concerned about potential fee increases, particularly as they might affect the population of the county jail.
“I don”t want to raise fees just to raise them,” he said. “I worry about the people that have to pay the fees, and I certainly don”t want to do anything that might cause an increase in the jail population.”
County clerk Nina Sells suggested to the Court that they review the fees of other, surrounding counties, prior to approving any increases, to make sure that fees are in line.
The Commissioners also considered the Caldwell County Appraisal District”s budget for the coming fiscal year.
The CCAD budget has been causing headaches for several taxing entities in the past several months because of several fee increases that were considered unreasonable. However, the Commissioners on Monday decided that they would prefer not to “try to micromanage” the organization.
“They bill their budget quarterly, and if they don”t spend the money, they don”t bill it,” Wright said. “I think we should be able to ask them to review their budget, because I want them – all of them – to be satisfied.”
One member of the current CCAD board was not appointed to her position until after the budget had been approved by the other directors.
In other Court business:
The Commissioners opened discussion with a group of citizens about decorating the Caldwell County Courthouse for the holiday season. In the past, the decorations have been purchased and maintained by a private group of citizens.
They also considered the duties of Emergency Management Coordinator Lynn Parker. Parker, an instructor at Palo Alto College, will be sharing his duties this year with his assistant, Jim Parker.
The Court also discussed renewing an application for grant funds to install septic tanks for indigent county residents. So far under the grant program, the county has installed 20 systems according to Kasi Miles, who has been instrumental in interviewing recipients and having the systems installed.
Miles said that more than 200 residents of the county are without septic systems.
In brief court news:
The Commissioners lifted the outdoor burning ban that was imposed last Wednesday.
Veteran service officer Larry Corpus reported that his activities for the month of August were less than usual because of a medical problem. However, corups did assist 33 veterans and/or pensioners.
The county considered bids on remodeling work to be done at the Caldwell County Tax Office on Market Street.
Wright reported that the county spent over $14,400 on indigent health care during the month of August.
The county paid bills in the amount of $249,071.23, including $18,338 on indigent legal defense and $500 for indigent health care.

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