Fannin County Commissioners Court Discusses Public Improvement Districts

Fannin County, Texas — Fannin County Judge Randy Moore and County Commissioners Edwina Lane, AJ Self and Jerry Magness were in attendance for a regular meeting of the Fannin County Commissioners Court held on Tuesday, February 8, 2022. Pct . 4 Commissioner Dean Lackey was absent.

The meeting opened with an invocation from David Bradley, pastor of Life Covenant Baptist Church in Bonham, Texas.

The pledges were led by Major James Manis (retired).

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A brief update on the ongoing restoration of the 1888 Fannin County Courthouse included:

Outside

Complete lawn and landscape installation.

Complete cut pipes and install cleanout outlets in landscaped areas.

Install flag poles.

Full floor lighting.

Installation of the ADA ramp in progress on the south.

Interior

Complete the stencil work in the courtroom.

Install and sand wood floors at 2 and 3.

Trim installed on 1st level.

Finish the acoustic plaster and remove the scaffolding.

Painting on the 3rd level.

Exit light and trim.

Install the cast iron treads and risers for the 2nd through 3rd west stairs.

Workers don’t expect an antique stair railing to arrive until April, so a staircase likely won’t be available when the restoration ceremony takes place on March 10.

An exterior door to the south side of the courthouse should be in place for the restoration ceremony. The other exterior doors will not be installed until large objects have been brought into the restored courthouse for fear of scratching the doors.

The workers paint the interior doors.

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The Fannin County Commissioners Court has approved an order creating a reinvestment area for BT Masroor Storage, LLC, 10,568 acres on Property ID #70807, which is located south of Bonham near the South Jail on County Road 4200.

The 10,568 acres will remain designated as a commercial-industrial reinvestment area for a period of five years and may be renewed for an additional five years.

This acreage is close to the power plant located near the old prison on CR 4200 south of Bonham.

The creation of a Reinvestment Zone is the first step towards a possible tax relief.

This will be the second battery storage facility to come to Fannin County. Belltown Power’s facility south of US 82 near Savoy will be a 300 megawatt storage facility (with the possibility of expansion to 600 megawatts) and BT Masroor Storage is proposing to construct a 150 megawatt storage facility.

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The Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to close Fannin County offices, excluding first responders, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on March 10, 2022 to allow county employees to attend the rededication ceremony of the Fannin County Courthouse in 1888.

“We want all county employees to attend the ceremony,” Judge Moore remarked.

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The Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to overturn the burning ban for Fannin County to allow residents to begin burning broken limbs resulting from the recent ice storm.

Jason Walker addressed the Commissioners Court and said there was no reason to implement a burning ban if the county did not enforce it to protect property, citizens and firefighters.

“What’s the point of having one if there’s no way to enforce it,” echoed Pct. 3 Commissioner Jerry Magness.

Fannin County Sheriff Mark Johnson said deputies will write illegal burning tickets under certain conditions.

“Just because we’re removing the burning ban doesn’t mean you don’t need to be careful,” Judge Moore warned.

Moore suggested residents call the appropriate sheriff’s department and fire department before burning.

According to the Texas Water Development Board, “January 2022 was the fifth consecutive month that the state’s drought-affected area increased. There have been some improvements over the past month, primarily in eastern Texas, while that other parts of the state have seen more degradation, especially in central Texas.”

Commissioners will revisit this issue next week.

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Mark DeMay, Director of Indigent Health Care for Fannin County, provided a report on Indigent Health Care activity for January 2022. Both DeMay and Justice Moore commended the Bridges Out of Poverty program for helped break the cycle of poverty.

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The Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to pay for the courthouse flag poles out of CARES funding rather than contingencies. The county has about $20,000 of the remaining CARES fund money; after the purchase of the courthouse poles, approximately $9,000 will remain in this fund.

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The Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to purchase an air purifier with CARES funding for the county clerk’s office at a cost of $179.99.

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The Fannin County Commissioners Court voted to approve the Master Plat for the addition of Orduna 2 at County Road 4875 and FM 272 in Trenton; 66 lots on 95.92 acres.

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The Fannin County Commissioners Court approved payment of the bills.

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In a public forum, Major Manis said he felt that enforcement of a burning ban was sometimes necessary.

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The Fannin County Commissioners Court adopted an agenda item calling for a discussion with George Harmon and Klein Klotz of the Nitsche Group regarding health care benefits for Fannin County employees.

This discussion will likely take place at a regular meeting of the Court of Commissioners on February 22, 2022.

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The Fannin County Commissioners Court met in executive session at 9:57 a.m. to deliberate on the purchase, exchange, lease, or real estate value of the future Justice Center property.

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No action was taken on real property during the executive session.

Judge Moore said securing a proper justice center is a top priority for the county.

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The Fannin County Commissioners Court discussed Public Improvement Districts (PIDs) at a regular meeting on February 8, 2022. A proposed development requested a PID with the County and Mark McLiney, Senior Managing Director at SAMCO Capital Markets, Inc., gave an overview of this tool that can be used to finance public infrastructure.

Developers use PID bonds, as well as private capital, to directly fund improvements.

If a commissioner’s court or a city decides to create a public improvement district, a specialist is needed to buy and sell these bonds.

A PID is paid for by the developer and the people who live in the specific PID neighborhood, but open to the public.

Taxpayers who live in the PID will generally pay higher taxes, but benefit from better amenities which often include walkways, parks, public swimming pools, boat docks or other public infrastructure that must be open to the public, built as specified by the county and eventually ceded to the county.

The value of the development must exceed the loan by a ratio of 3 to 1.

There will be an annual appraisal on each lot, much like ad valorem taxes, with the notable exception that the PID appraisal may be prepaid.

The PID disappears once the bonds are redeemed.

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Judge Moore commended Troy Hudson and Jennifer Peaco of the Fannin County Emergency Management Team for their work during the recent ice storm and power outages.

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