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Fannin County Commissioners Court approves security plan for courthouse
By Allen Rich
Jan 11, 2023
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Fannin County, Texas -- All five members of Fannin County Commissioners Court were present for a special meeting held Monday, January 9, 2023.

The meeting opened with an invocation by Michael Evans, pastor of the Windom United Methodist Church, and Fannin County Judge Newt Cunningham led the pledges.

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In public forum, Mark Hetherington recommended that Fannin County reevaluate the county's communication systems and policies.

Mr. Hetherington also urged the county to get the justice center done as quickly as possible and suggested that the building contain an inclement weather safe room. 

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Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to accept excess proceeds totaling $26,886.76 from delinquent tax foreclosures.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court approved minutes from 11/02/2021 (R), 08/02/2022 (R), 08/09/2022 (S), 08/30/2022 (R), 10/11/2022 (R), 11/09/2022 (R), 11/09/2022 (S Canvassing), 11/09/2022 (S Redistricting), 12/20/2022 (R) and 12/27/2022 (R).

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Fannin County Commissioners Court observed an order signed by 336th Judicial District Judge Laurine Blake appointing Alicia Whipple County Auditor for a term of two (2) years, beginning January 10, 2023.

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Indigent Healthcare Director Mark DeMay presented the Indigent Care Activity report for December 2022. 

Mr. DeMay is optimistic about the possibility of securing grants to assist Indigent Care.

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The Office of Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 reported receiving $5,743.00 in December 2022.

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The Office of Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 reported receiving $4,076.00 in December 2022.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court appointed Fannin County Judge Newt Cunningham as Chair of the Lake Ralph Hall Zoning Board and Pct. 3 Commissioner Jerry Magness as a member of the Board.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to fill a vacancy on the Lake Ralph Hall Zoning Board left by former Ladonia Mayor Jan Cooper with Greg Morris, who was appointed by Ladonia Mayor Patricia Harrod.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to solicit bids for a used semi-truck tractor for Precinct 4.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to purchase a Fujistu FI8170 for the Elections Supervisor for $999.99 to be paid out of contingency.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to pay bills.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court held a discussion regarding water issues affecting Fannin County.

Mr. Hetherington asked that the county's water interests be protected.

Commissioner Kopf asked for an engineering study to determine the county's future needs to acquire and distribute water.

Judge Cunningham reiterated his concern that local ground water will be too salty to drink in 10-20 years.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court held a discussion regarding Fannin County road issues.

Mark Hetherington asked if it would be possible for the county to acquire property that could supply sand and rock.

Donna Polser asked for public access to information regarding how the four county precincts plan to spend the $500,000 recently allocated to each precinct.

Ms. Polser repeated her request for a bond election to repair roads and asked about the existence of grants to help the county build and/or repair roads.

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Fannin County Commissioners Court went into executive session at 1:53 p.m. 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 regarding Fannin County Courthouse.

Fannin County Commissioners Court also held an 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 regarding Personnel Safety and Compliance.

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There was no action taken during the first executive session.

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In the second executive session, Fannin County Commissioners Court approved a security plan for the courthouse. The public will be able to enter the courthouse via the south entrance only; the other three entrances will be locked when approached from the outside. The public will still be able to exit though all four courthouse doors.