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Fannin County Commissioners Court studies possible restrictions for truck traffic
By Allen Rich
Jul 11, 2024
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Fannin County, Texas -- All five members of Fannin County Commissioners Court were present for a regular meeting held Tuesday, July 9, 2024. The meeting opened with an invocation by Darrell Hathcock, Director of Missions for Fannin Baptist Association, and pledges were led by Pct. 3 Commissioner Jerry Magness.


In public forum, Fannin County Judge Newt Cunningham reported that the JP 2 clerk has been terminated and arrested; an investigation is underway.


Routine items

Commissioners court approved payment of bills totaling $81,441.50, payroll was $388,146.53.


Report of monies received by the County Clerk office for June 2024; Land Records - $30,195.00 and All Courts - $11,681.62.


Report of monies received by the District Clerk office for June 2024; $21,674.60.


Report of monies received by Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 office for June 2024; $16,601.35.


Report of monies received by Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 office for June 2024; $1,693.25.


Report of monies received by Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 office for June 2024; $7,692.00.


Indigent Care Director Mark DeMay presented the Indigent Care activity report for third quarter of FY 2024.

Mr. DeMay reported a marked increase in inbound calls, often from new residents, but he hopes the department will still manage to return $50,000-$60,000 back to the county at the end of the fiscal year.

DeMay discussed Indigent Care's access to medical equipment.

"No one in Fannin County should be without medical equipment because they can't afford it," DeMay said.

The free medical equipment program has been a success and has provided much needed medical equipment and supplies to those in need in Fannin County. Donations are much appreciated and go directly to those who cannot afford them. Contact the Indigent Health Care Office to donate or request medical equipment and supplies.

Recent meetings include:

On April 11, 2024, DeMay met with Lauren Mooney to discuss the various behavioral health workshops she offers, community resources, and the Indigent Health Care Program.

On April 24, 2024, DeMay met with Mark Sanderson of Open Arms Shelter to discuss their future site and the many public assistance resources that will be available in house for those in need.

On May 2, 2024, DeMay met with Kim Skidmore with the Fannin County Children’s Center to discuss community resources and the Indigent Health Care Program.

Also on May 2, 2024, he met with Jennifer Harzke with Pecan Place Apartments to discuss low income housing for the elderly in Fannin County, the free medical equipment program, community resources, and the Indigent Health Care Program.

On May 14, 2024, DeMay attended the Getting Ahead Community Assessment Night to discuss free and low cost medical care in the community and hand out resource lists.

On June 7, 2024, DeMay attended the Sexual Assault Response Team Meeting to discuss the status of nurse exams at TMC Bonham Hospital for victims of sexual assault.

On June 14, 2024, DeMay met with District Judge-Elect Christina Tillett to brief her on the Indigent Health Care Program and discuss previous projects I have worked on with Judge Blake.

On June 17, 2024, DeMay met with Amanda McDonald of the Fannin County Family Crisis Center to discuss community resources and the Indigent Health Care Program.

Discussion items


Tammy Lewis of AirMedCare Network gave a presentation of an optional payroll-deducted emergency medical care flight plan(s) for Fannin County employees and their families.

The rate is based on an entity's number of employees; for Fannin County the fee would be $75 annually per employee.

Ms. Lewis said AirMedCare Network has 38,000 employees in 38 states and caters to rural areas. The company has bases in Grayson and Lamar counties, as well as Bryan County in Oklahoma.

"Anyone living in your household is covered by the $75 fee," Lewis told the court.

Individuals who aren't employed by the county can also sign up for this service.


In a discussion regarding a possible public park on Bois d’Arc Lake, Judge Cunningham said he accompanied Commissioner Magness to study locations on the lake with enough acreage for a park and campsite.

"We appreciate North Texas Municipal Water District for considering this opportunity," Cunningham remarked.


Discussion, consideration and action items

Commissioners court approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Fannin Baptist Association and Fannin County Office of Emergency Management regarding management of donated goods in the event of a state-declared disaster.

Fannin Baptist Association has the capacity to gather, store and distribute donated goods.


Commissioners court approved releasing the following over-pledged Securities with Legend Bank:

 Cusip#           Description           Pledged Par                  Market Value
31418DMP4   FNMA #MA3965    $2,000,000.00                $436,584.52
31418D3R1    FNMA #MA4407    $3,000,000.00             $1,961,728.48


Commissioners court approved hiring HART Intercivic to program races for the November 5, 2024 ballot at an amount not to exceed $8,565.00 based upon current known planned elections. 

Commissioners court also approved paying HART $450 to program the test deck of the logic and perform accuracy testing for the November 5, 2024 election

Programming is expected to begin mid-August.

Money will come from contingency.


Commissioners court approved plans to have HART provide onsite support during the November 5, 2024 Election Day activities.


Commissioners court approved renting a Hitachi ZX60 Mini Excavator with a 48" ditch bucket included from ASCO rentals for one month at a cost of $3,309.04 to be paid for out of Rental/Lease account 210-621-4600.


Commissioners court approved the 2024-2025 Organizational Chart for Fannin County.

The one noticeable change this year is that the county combined Developmental Services and Environmental Services.


Commissioners court discussed the ramifications of the temporary closure of JP 2 offices in Leonard. The City of Leonard spent $9,830 to replace all 17 locks that a former county employee could possibly access at city hall.

Fannin County Auditor Alicia Whipple told commissioners court that the city has gone "above and beyond" their duty to assist the county.

Fannin County Commissioners Court approved reimbursing the City of Leonard for door-lock replacement.


Commissioners court discussed the pressing need to work on the parking lot in front of the Tag Office doors, as well as other repairs needed at the South Annex.

Commissioner Magness volunteered to take the lead on the project and Pct. 2 Commissioner A.J. Self offered to assist.

Judge Cunningham suggested having Fannin County Purchasing Agent Edwina Lane to get bids for striping the parking lot.


The discussion continued again this week regarding which entity is responsible for maintaining the portion of CR 2909 that is located inside the city limits of Dodd City, without the fully executed Interlocal Agreement for Road Maintenance.

Dodd City representatives believe that the county constructed the road and is responsible for maintenance.

Judge Cunningham said he is 99% convinced the section of the road inside the city limits of Dodd City is a city road, but he will discuss this issue with the attorney representing Dodd City on July 9 and follow the letter of the law.


Open discussion items

Open discussion items will be passed on unless discussion requested by a member of the court or a citizen.

Cunningham said that repairs continue to be made at the courthouse and litigation regarding the project is underway.


The county is waiting for final price tag for the justice center.


In regard to the county budget and revenue sources , Cunningham said the county is liquidating some county-owned property. In the past, the county judge has stated that his top priority is to make certain the county can complete the justice center project without borrowing any more money.


The need to restrict heavy truck traffic on certain county roads continues to be a hot topic in Fannin County Commissioners Court. Research by attorney Andy Garner indicates that an opinion by the State Attorney General gives commissioners court the authority to restrict all truck traffic on county roads after holding a public hearing, issuing an order and posting "No Truck Traffic" signs on the roads.

Commissioner Magness opined that the county would struggle to enforce restrictions.

County resident Molly Hayes thanked Mr. Garner for his research and Ms. Hayes reported that the new county sheriff and new constable have said they would enforce the law when they take office in January.

Commissioners will document the most serious road situations and be ready to act if the ordinance goes into effect and enforcement is deemed possible.


In regard to solar and wind farms, Cunningham said he fielded a call from officials in Titus County who are concerned about an effort to locate a wind farm in that county.

"I told them we weren't accommodating wind farms," Cunningham said sternly.


In regard to Emergency Medical Services, meetings are ongoing to discuss the coordination involved to initiate the county's new contract with Bluebird Medical Enterprises, LLC d/b/a Allegiance Mobile Health ("Allegiance") to provide countywide ambulance service. That contract goes into effect October 1, 2024.

Cunningham said this move will increase the number of ambulances available to the county, and all parties will be looking at ways to mitigate potential problems.

Executive session(s) and action if needed

Commissioners court had no need for commissioners court and dismissed at 10:18 a.m.

The next regular meeting of Fannin County Commissioners Court will be in two weeks on July 23, 2024.