County, Fair Association settle lease dispute


By LPR Staff

After weeks of discussion and debate, the Caldwell County Commissioners entered a tacit agreement with the Caldwell County Fair Association on Monday that will secure a home for the Caldwell County Junior Livestock Show for another 50 years.

Early this year, the Fair Association informed the Commissioners” Court of thei

r intention to renew the lease, originally entered in 1984, for another 25 years. Although the organization met the requirements in the lease, the agreement itself raised concerns among the Court not only about the length of the agreement, but regarding some aspects of the Fair Association”s guidelines.

Finally on Monday, County Judge HT Wright asked a statement to be read into the minutes of the Court”s regular meeting stating the Commissioners were not required to take action on the lease, which will be renewed, but that the current Court was concerned about the legal ramifications not only of the renewal, but of failing to renew the lease.

“The Fair Association has complied with all of the procedures required to extend the lease and the Commissioners” Court plans no further action at this time,” the statement said.

In addition, the statement enumerated the Courts” concerns about a rule which prevents students from participating in the show if they have participated in another show in the county during the same calendar year. That rule, some believe, is discriminatory toward Luling-area students, who have an earlier show than the Caldwell County Junior Livestock Show.

However, the statement noted, the rule that the Court finds objectionable is not a part of the lease, and therefore not proper for the Commissioners to address.

Wright said the Court does not intend to address the issue further in the future.

In other business during the brief meeting, the Commissioners heard reports from several Caldwell County department heads, including extension agent Jeff Watts, who suggested county landowners will continue to see impact from the drought, possibly for years to come, despite the fact the drought itself seems to have been broken by recent rains.

“One of the biggest things we”re hearing about right now is trees dying off,” Watts said. “Despite the fact the trees are getting rain now, the damage has been done, and we could continue to see the effects for as long as five years.”

Watts said property owners had the chance to stave off some of the damage by testing the soil around their trees and determining what nutrients are lacking, and fertilizing the trees accordingly.

“I recommend that, and maybe watering with a soaker hose every two weeks or so, on the tree”s drip pattern, to help undo the damage,” he said.

Watts also said that armyworms were presenting a problem for several landowners, but there was no real cure for the infestations.

In brief news:
Emergency management coordinator Jim Parker suggested the next week could be critical with regard to county safety, as heavy rains statewide have increased the danger for flash flooding. He encouraged drivers to be wary of low-water crossings and to make sure not to go around barricades placed by county workers.

Parker also advised the Court that there is little danger, currently, for wildfires, and suggested the outdoor burning ban be left off.

The Court held a brief public hearing about a subdivision of property on FM 1854. Although they did not move to approve the subdivision, no residents came forward to speak against the proposal and it is expected the variance will be granted at a future meeting.

Wright reported the County spent a total of $236,302.67 on indigent health care during the last fiscal year, and $3,730 for indigent burials during September. Both figures are well below the amounts allocated in the budget.

The County paid bills in the amount of $75,015.67, which included $5,735.40 for indigent legal defense and $26,929.65 for indigent health care.

The Caldwell County Commissioners” Court meets on the second, third and fourth Monday of each month at 9 a.m. in Room 100 of the Caldwell County Courthouse. The meetings are open to the public, and concerned residents are encouraged to attend and become involved in their local government.


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