Local News
Fannin County Commissioners Court to negotiate EMS contract with City of Bonham
By Allen Rich
Aug 5, 2020
Print this page
Email this article

Fannin County, Texas -- All five members of Fannin County Commissioners Court were present for a regular meeting Tuesday, August 4, 2020. The meeting opened with an invocation by Mike Allred of Boyd Baptist Church and pledges were led by Fannin County Judge Randy Moore.

*****

Beth Purcell, an aide to the Office of Texas Senator Bob Hall was in attendance.

*****

Fannin County Commissioners Court extended the Fannin County Declaration of Disaster Proclamation for Covid-19, as well as the Covid-19 Response and Continuity of Operations Plan for Fannin County, until August 11, 2020.

Judge Moore said that once Fannin County consistently remains below the 20-active-case threshold, the mask order can be lifted.

*****

Steve Long of North Texas Municipal Water District gave a presentation and update regarding the $1.6 billion Bois d’Arc Lake project.

Mr. Long noted that the bridge for FM 897 is virtually complete and he expects TxDOT to open the new thoroughfare in late August.

The embankment is 65% complete, spillway concrete is 78% complete and the intake tower is 87% complete.

There will be a public meeting 9:00 a.m. Thursday, August 6, 2020 at Bonham City Hall to discuss the shoreline plan for Bois d'Arc Lake.

*****

Commissioners approved minutes from a regular meeting June 16, 2020.

*****

Doug Janeway of Upper Trinity Regional Water District assured commissioners that a landowner on CR 3370 in Ladonia will have access to property in regards to construction of Lake Ralph Hall. Work on this second lake in Fannin County will likely begin in 2021.

Lake Ralph Hall procurement update – June 12, 2020

Lake Ralph Hall new fact sheet

*****

Fannin County Commissioners Court announced that negotiations will proceed with the City of Bonham to provide Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for Fannin County.

Bonham Fire Department has been providing EMS for the county since July 2002.

The county wants to spread ambulances in order to improve response times. Judge Moore said the staff and relatively new Emergency Room (ER) facility at TMC Hospital Bonham is an important part of this equation to provide the best service possible to county residents.

"I think we have one of the better ER locations in North Texas," Moore stated.

Fannin County Pct. 4 Commissioner Dean Lackey said that negotiations haven't been primarily about money, but rather an attempt to better serve residents.

"I want us to have a top-of-the-line EMS service," remarked Commissioner Lackey. "We are looking out for the best interest of the citizens of Fannin County."

"I'm glad to see that we will have some ambulances spread out," commented Fannin County Pct. 2 Commissioner A.J. Self.

"Now we can negotiate a contract and move forward," explained Fannin County Pct. 3 Commissioner Jerry Magness.

*****

After much deliberation, Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to set the proposed 2020 tax rate for the coming fiscal year at $0.589, which is the current tax rate.

The proposed county budget is based on maintaining the same tax rate, but commissioners noted they will be meeting with departments to look for budget cuts that will be necessary to make the budget work.

Fannin County Commissioners Court set the public hearing for the proposed tax rate for August 24, 2020 at 9:00 a.m., with a special meeting immediately following the public hearing to adopt the 2020 tax rate.

*****

Commissioners approved a Bond Supervision work schedule after Fannin County Pct. 3 Commissioner Jerry Magness volunteered to have his administrative assistant work in Bond Supervision on a part-time basis to help the department catch up.

*****

Commissioners passed on an agenda item calling for the disbursement of proceeds from sale of equipment to purchase of equipment to replace equipment that was sold at the last auction by Auctioneer Express.

*****

Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to implement the culvert permitting process for Fannin County, effective immediately. Pct. 4 Commissioner Dean Lackey studied the process in neighboring counties to formulate a plan for Fannin County.

The process calls for the landowner to begin by notifying Lita Huffman, Director of Fannin County Development Services, of an intent to install a culvert. Ms. Huffman would than schedule an initial inspection by the appropriate commissioner. Following the inspection, the landowner would be responsible for purchasing and installing the culvert.

This process would require a final inspection by the commissioner and then the county would maintain the culvert. Fannin County Commissioners Court has expressed a preference for 30' culverts made of 12-gauge galvanized metal.

Commissioners will discuss a $25 culvert filing fee at the next regular meeting of Fannin County Commissioners Court.

*****

Commissioners approved the FY 2020-2021 Interlocal Agreement between TCOG and Fannin County regarding the provision of GIS Services (Geographic Information Systems) to Fannin County for $23,000.

*****

Commissioners voted to accept the quote from Bane Machinery to lease with the option to purchase a Pneumatic Roller for Precinct 3. The lease will be $14,720 and that amount will be deducted from the sale price of $54,500.

*****

Commissioners voted to award Allied Concrete Systems the contract for the resinous flooring for the Courthouse Restoration. Two bids met approved criteria from Texas Historical Commission and the winning bid by Allied Concrete Systems was for $166,821.28.

*****

Commissioners voted to approve RS Ventures to continue leasing the Statzer land for another 12 months in the amount of $757.85.

*****

Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to use contingency funds, not to exceed $5,200, to replace an air conditioning unit at the South Jail.

*****

Fannin County Commissioners Court discussed the complicated process of utilizing CARES Act grant funding for personnel or supplies for Covid-19. The current process seems to favor larger cities and counties, as well as schools. Rural cities and counties are saddled with a 25% match, yet there are the entities that will have the most difficult time meeting the match requirements.

*****

Commissioners approved payment of bills.

*****

In the segment of the regular meeting reserved for comments by commissioners and the county judge, Pct. 2 Commissioner A.J. Self said he has two bridges out and he mentioned employment opportunities in Leonard, Texas.

Pct. 3 Commissioner Jerry Magness said he has a bridge out in the Lamasco area.

Commissioner Magness lamented to cost to taxpayers when "mudders" intentionally damage county roads after heavy rains.

"If we put signs out on mud roads, we can charge fines and fees," Magness explained.

Pct. 4 Commissioner Dean Lackey thanked residents for attending commissioners court and he remarked that "we can make the budget work."

Fannin County Judge Randy Moore said he has been in discussions with representatives of the Forest Service regarding the transfer of Lake Fannin to Fannin County.

Judge Moore intends to contact the offices of Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. Ted Cruz in hopes of securing a no-fee waiver in reference to the transfer.