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County Commissioners

County commissioners rescinded an order Monday on consolidating two voting precincts with one.
County Clerk Irene Gumula said she had learned from the Secretary of State Office that such consolidation cannot occur between March and November.
A governmental entity such as a county also cannot consolidate because of lower voter turnout in a precinct, Gumula said.
‘There has to be something like a building that’s not accessible,’ she added
Commissioner Tommy Clevenger asked if ‘close proximity’ to a polling place could be considered a valid reason for consolidation.
Gumula said she would check into that issue.
On a motion made by Commissioner J.L. ‘Whitey’ Barnett, the Court voted 4-0 to rescind a consolidation order.
On Sept. 8, the officials voted to consolidate precincts 35 and 36 with Precinct 32, which is the county courthouse.
Precinct 35 has been Cactus Drive Church of Christ while 36 has been the Texas Health & Human Services building in the 900 block of Avenue H.
Commissioners learned last week that voter turnout in precincts 35 and 36 has been low in recent November elections.
Consolidating the two precincts would have saved hundreds of dollars in a general election.
Each polling place is staffed by an election judge, an alternate judge and a bilingual election worker.
The officials approved an order regarding disbursements from the County Energy Transportation Reinvestment Zone Incremend Fund.
County Judge Larry Sprowls said the Attorney General’s Office had issued an opinion stating that the state cannot tell counties how to spend money  from the fund for local transportation projects.
Last year, the state encouraged counties to apply for state funds to rebuild county roads that have been damaged by the increase in oilfield traffic.
Commissioners went through a lengthy process to identify such projects. The county was advised that it would receive $2.2 million, and that it would be reimbursed for materials as projects are  completed.
Commissioner Larry Carter has a road crew that has been putting in caliche on 1 1/4 miles of Oil Well Road. The roadway will be paved.
The Court approved the order on a vote of 4-0.
Commissioners approved a contract with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
The agreement will allow the county to use the commission’s database to for birth records anywhere in the state.
However, a person who needs a ‘long’ form for a passport must go to the county where they were born to obtain a passport, she added.
In other business, commissioners canvassed the results of the special Sept. 9 election.

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