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February 14, 2005

Galveston County Commissioners Court

Galveston County Commissioners Court today met in workshop with bond advisors Louis Pauls and Jim Niederle to discuss a possible refunding issue of general obligation bonds. Listen

"Every time you think rates can't drop any more and the Fed raises Fed Funds Rates, municipal rates and stuff just keep dropping," said County Judge Jim Yarbrough. 

"This is a straightforward refunding of a number of bonds that are in your book," said Pauls, explaining that the county can save $1.5 million by refinancing its outstanding bonds, in combination with the sale of new bonds.   

The commissioners court voted to waive penalties and interest on delinquent taxes totaling $306.99 that has accrued since 1990 on property that Raymond Dethlefsen said he owns in League City.  Dethlefsen said he never received a bill for the taxes. Listen

"This request is based on the fact that the appraisal district has had this property, over the years, identified as 'unknown', because they did not know who owned the property," Dethelfsen said, adding that he wants to pay the taxes on the property, but not the penalty and interest.

The commissioners court voted to award a bid of $38,605.82 for a diesel tractor to DER Equipment Company. The item had been deferred from last week's agenda at the request of Commissioner Ken Clark. Listen

"I had the opportunity to visit with one of the vendors several weeks back in a chance phone conversation," Clark said, explaining that he thought that another company had a lower bid.

"We did some investigation and talked to the vendors," said Purchasing Agent Bruce Hughes.  "The particular flex-wing mower that was bid by DER did meet specifications." 

Commissioner Steve Holmes chastised Clark for asking for the deferral before he talked to Hughes.

"In the future, if a vendor contacts you, or if you have a chance conversation, and they have a question about bids, it is only fair that you refer them to the purchasing office so he can hear it directly from the vendor," Holmes said. 

The commissioners court voted to approve a recommendation from Community Services Director Curtiss Brown that the contract with Health Administrative Services for indigent health care billing be modified to include a six-month trial establishment of a utilization review process.

"This process has the potential for reducing costs on individual indigent health care cases and the probability for serving more program participants with budgeted funds," Brown said.

The commisioners court met in workshop with HAS to discuss medical, WCI and indigent health care issues. Listen

The commissioners court approved contracts with architect Joe Hoover for the design phase of the Texas Agriculture Extension Administrative Building in Carbide Park and for the restroom facility at Bayshore Park.

The commissioners court voted to withdraw a previously awarded grant for the acquisition of property adjacent to Washington Park on Galveston Island.

"This land was sold before we were able to acquire it," reported Dennis Harris, director of the Galveston County Department of Parks and Senior Services.

The commissioners court voted to abandon portions of several unopened streets in High Island at the request of the Houston Audubon Society.

The commissioners court deferred action on a permit request from SBC to bore under the Galveston Seawall at 25th Street to install two four-inch conduits for telephone service to the Flagship Hotel until the next meeting.

All other agenda items were approved.  All votes were unanimous.

The commissioners court also deferred a workshop discussion of a subdivision in the Highway 6 area at the request of Johnny Baulch.

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