Fannin County Commissioners Court to consider ordinance restricting sexually oriented businesses Oct. 10
By Allen Rich
Sep 28, 2023
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Fannin County, Texas -- All five members of Fannin County Commissioners Court were present for a regular meeting Tuesday, September 26, 2023. The invocation was given by Fannin County Judge Newt Cunningham and pledges were led by Major James Manis.


In public forum, Sam Lumpkins thanked the county, on behalf of Bonham Area Chamber of Commerce, for the recent donation from commissioners court and told about the Autumn in Bonham Bike Rally coming up October 7, 2023. Ms. Lumpkins asked county residents to restrain aggressive dogs as bicyclists tour the county and asked drivers to be careful.

"We appreciate your support as county commissioners," Lumpkins said.

Rosemary Clemons announced that the Fannin County Republican Women will hold their next meeting at Legacy Ridge Country Club; sheriff candidates will speak.

Mike Nedjtek told of an ongoing tent revival at Calvary Baptist Church.

Diane Young thanked the county, on behalf of Creative Arts Center, for a recent donation.


Bonham Fire Chief Scott Ridling presented the EMS report for August 2023.

Chief Ridling said his department made 432 ambulance calls and assisted 104 residents without transports during the month of August. The department has made 4,015 ambulance calls so far this year.

"That will definitely be a big year for us," Ridling told the court.


Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to extend the ban on outdoor burning.


Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to pay bills totaling $126,206.39.


Fannin County Commissioners Court discussed submission of annual training per Government Code 2256, Public Funds Investment Act for the county auditor


Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to allow Texas Department of Transportation to install security cameras in their office areas at the 1203 E. Sam Rayburn Drive location. DPS  will pay for the cameras, so there will be no expense to the county.


Fannin County Commissioners Court approved action to sell, purchase and trade in the following equipment for Precinct 1 for a total of $112,886.63 before trade-ins and sale, $56,886.63 from line item 210-621-571, Purchase of Equipment, after sale and trade-ins; to occur after October 1, 2023 for the 2023/2024 budget –Commissioner Precinct 1 for Purchasing Agent:


a) Peterbilt Haul Truck - $20,000.00


a) Case Farmall 100C Tractor with Loader - $77,000.00

b) Land Pride RC5710 single side 10 ft. Power Mower - $21,759.88

c) Land Pride AP-SC6072 Skid Cutter - $12,608.25

d) Land Pride PFl5648 pallet forks for Skid Steer -$1,518.50


a) JD7240 Tractor - $14,000.00

b) New Holland TL100 Tractor - $14,000.00

c) Rhino 15-foot Batwing Mower - $8,000.00


Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to go out for bid for a John Deere motor grader for Precinct 2.


Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to approve the Sheriff and Constable Fees for 2024; fees will be the same as last year.


Fannin County Commissioners Court held a lengthy discussion regarding sexually oriented businesses in Fannin County.

"I'm not in favor of regulations unless they are needed," Judge Cunningham began, but he stated that he didn't want a sexually oriented business located near schools and churches.

A dozen county residents addressed the court to express concern about a sexually oriented business being located in the county near Ravenna, Texas.

"There are certain things the state of Texas allows the county to do and we need to take advantage of that," Cunningham noted. "It is a two-part test. Is it a business? Is it sexually oriented? We can regulate sexually oriented businesses and that is what I would like to see us do. We can limit them, but not prohibit them."

Several local churches have petitions available for county residents to sign if they are opposed to sexually oriented businesses being located in Fannin County. 

Cunningham implied that the county will address this with the same strategy it used with landfills; while the county can't legally prohibit them, it can devise an ordinance that will attempt to convince such businesses to locate elsewhere.

"We want to take advantage of the tools that are available to us," Cunningham explained. "We can design an ordinance that will not attract sexually oriented businesses."

Fannin County Commissioners Court will not have a regular meeting Tuesday, October 3, but the court will meet Tuesday, October 10, 2023 and will consider an ordinance restricting sexually oriented businesses at that time. 

Jim Moss, the dean of county attorneys, reminded the court of constitutional limitations in situations similar to this.

"They can't be kept out completely," advised attorney Paul Ivey, "They're going to look for every loophole in the definition of a 'business.'"


Fannin County Commissioners Court went into executive session to (1) seek the advice of its attorney regarding: (A) pending or contemplated litigation; or (B) a settlement offer; or (2) on a matter in which the duty of the attorney to the governmental body under the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of Texas clearly conflicts with this chapter.

Fannin County Commissioners Court also held an executive session to deliberate personnel matters regarding the appointment, employment, evaluation, reassignment, duties, discipline, or dismissal of a public officer or employee; or (2) to hear a complaint or charge against an officer or employee.


The court took no action in the first executive session.


As a result of the second executive session, Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to hire additional personnel to conduct a firewatch when the courthouse is occupied to begin in next year's budget cycle. Compensation for additional personnel needed for the firewatch will come from contingency.