In a 10 to one vote the Cleburne County Quorum Court passed a motion to allow the Cleburne County Library Board to move forward with acquiring a half million dollar line of credit as a back up plan to help fund the new construction.
According to Bryan Tilley, head of the library board, the library fund has the money to cover the construction cost of the new library, however, some of the money is in the form of pledges that have not come through yet. Tilley told the Justices that the line of credit would only be used as a worst-case scenario back up plan if some of the pledges defaulted. The lowest bid on the construction came from Dayco at $2,197,000. The library construction fund has around $1.5 million already on hand plus $400,000 in reserves from tax money. There is over $2 million in pledges as well. One of the pledges, from Jack Wold, is for a half million dollars and is in a living trust and must be used before he passes away. “Jack Wold is the fellow who got this started,” Tilley said. “This is in honor of his late wife, Mary, who was a long-time Cleburne County Library Board member. He wanted to see the library built in his lifetime and he isn’t doing very well.
The line of credit would be at 1.35% interest. Justice of the Peace Sam Henigar asked Tilley how the loan would be paid back if it was needed. “How are you going to pay back a half million dollar loan if some of the pledges don’t come through?” he asked.
Tilley explained there is enough money on paper to cover the cost of construction and that the loan would only be used if some of the pledges defaulted or if the money was needed before all the pledges came through. “If need be, county general could float the money until the pledges were all collected,” Tilley suggested.
Though several members said the county general budget couldn’t cover it as suggested, they voted to pass the motion of accepting the Dayco bid and the line of credit with only Justice Henigar voting against it.
In other business, Cleburne County Judge Brenda Hunt informed the Justices that the Assessment Coordination Department’s funding was reinstated.
The Justices unanimously passed an ordinance allowing for a $500 pay increase for full time employees in full time positions for 2012. The JPs had talked of this raise during the year, agreeing that if there were enough funds at the end of the year, they would grant the raise. This ordinance also determined the starting salaries for all non-elected new hires in full-time positions would increase by $250 from the previous starting salary beginning in January 2013.
Page 2 of 2 - They also unanimously passed an ordinance approving the longevity pay and to increase the funds of the Equalization board by $1000, which due to an oversight were not appropriated into the budget at the beginning of the year.
In a 10 to one vote with Justice of the Peace Phil Grace voting no, the Justices passed an ordinance to distribute Game and Fish Wildlife Conservation fine money to local school districts for established school education programs of fish and wildlife conservation purposes. Each of the four school districts in Cleburne County received $3,199.70.
They also passed an ordinance establishing the millage rates.
Judge Hunt brought up a unique situation during the meeting. Center Post Township Constable Keith Corbitt purchased a vehicle from the State Surplus. According to Judge Hunt, State Surplus would not accept payment from him stating that the money had to come through the county. He then brought the check to the Cleburne County Treasurer to be submitted as payment.
“We’ve never had anything like this come before the court,” Hunt said. “We need an ordinance allowing a check to be sent from the county to State Surplus.”
After a brief discussion and checking with Cleburne County Attorney Holly Meyer to make sure it’s legal, they voted no unanimously on the ordinance causing the ordinance to fail. Judge Hunt then told the court she would issue an order to refund Corbitt’s money.