County Commissioners vote 3-2 to extend burn ban

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The Gray County Commissioners approved to extend the county-wide burn ban 30 days after what County Judge Chris Porter called a “spirited discussion.”

In a phone recap on Tuesday, after Monday’s meeting, Porter said the vote went 3-2 with Commissioners Jeff Haley and Lake Arrington opting not to extend the ban.

“Commissioner Haley and Arrington’s argument was there were no fires that had started in the County, that they could recollect, by someone burning their trash,” Porter said. “I told them we’ve had people who have burned their trash on calm days and they just need to notify our dispatch when they are fixing to do that so we can make sure we have our resources ready in case they have a problem. They voted against and the three voted for it and we extended it for 30 days.”

Porter added he appreciates the Commissioners opinions on the matter but noted until there is enough rainfall to where the ground is saturated, he will personally be in support of a burn ban.

The Commissioners also approved a house-keeping move in regards to the minute order contributing $50,000 to Hemphill County Hospital District for a new ambulance using American Recovery Plan Act funds.

“If you dedicate ARPA funds to another entity that receives ARPA funds, now you’re double-dipped on having to track that,” Porter said. “What we decided to do was rescind that minute order and then approve $50,000 to be budgeted out of our next budget for 2022-23.

“That cleans up us having to worry about their (Hemphill County Hospital District) ARPA reporting and our ARPA reporting.”

The commissioners also discussed County sub-division rules.

“We are trying to get ahead on a county sub-division plan because we are seeing in other counties some people are taking advantage of the county not having sub-division rules in place,” Porter said.

“We are trying to get ahead of that. It’s a long process. Kind of like the game rooms, it’s gonna take a couple of months to get everything hashed out and the verbiage the way we want it.”

The following items were also approved:

• Minutes of the Previous Meeting

• Pay Bills as Approved by the County Auditor

• Accept County Treasurer’s Monthly Report

• Canvass the Returns for the May 7, 2022 Constitutional Amendment Special Election

• Replacing a Full Time Employee in Precinct 4

• Request to Replace a Part Time Employee in the Tax Assessor and Collector’s Office

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