The Yoakum County Commissioners Court met in regular session on Monday, June 18, where they addressed their weekly agenda.

In their first item on the agenda, the Court moved to audit and settle all accounts against the County and direct their payments. After looking over the bills and addressing any concerns a motion was made and unanimously approved to pay County bills that totaled $123,902.24 and Medical facility bills that totaled $214,652.75.

Chief Deputy Robert Whitfield was in attendance where he was asking the court to take appropriate action on a contract with Axon for the purchase of taser cartridges for the Sheriff’s Department. He reminded the Court that the Sheriff’s department had purchased 10 tasers and now they were needing the taser cartridges. Whitfield said the cost per unit was $853 and he was asking for 25 units. After some discussion, the Court unanimously approved his request.

The Court then listened to a presentation from Ross Shamburger, an agent with Shamburger Agency, concerning the health care for employees at Shinnery Oaks. He noted there was only a 2% change in the premiums and the benefits remained the same. No action was needed since it was an information item.

Taking up a majority of the time was a report from Juvenile Probation Officer Estefana Mendoza concerning a lack of funds needed to be paid for housing three Denver City juveniles at the Brownwood and Rockdale Regional Juvenile Justice Center facilities. Mendoza noted the total bill owed the two facilities was $87,855, an amount owed since January. Mendoza went on to say the cost per day for each juvenile was $152.30. Commissioners Woody Lindsey and Ray Marion both asked why the Commissioners Court had not been notified of this before now. Mendoza responded by telling the court she “realized this should have been addressed before now.”

The local JPO has an annual budget of $12,000 which led to a concern on where the additional funds would come from. County Auditor Darinda McWhirter said she would need to do a search on accounts which could be used to send additional funds to the JPO account to take care of this bill. County Judge Jim Barron did note the County would be reimbursed $33,000 of that amount from the state. Judge John Didway, who serves as the judge for the 121st District Court, was also in attendance for observation of the proceedings and did offer some explanations on various aspects of the problem. McWhirter said she would find the funds to take care of the problem.

Moving on to the next item Darla Welch of the Human Resource department recommended to the Court the hiring of Belen Smelser to replace Summer Lovelace who was recently elected to fill the position of District Clerk. She will be replacing Debbie Rushing who will be retiring on December 31. The Court unanimously approved her request. Smelser will have the title of 1st Deputy.

The Court also unanimously approved a donation from Tommy and Cindra Box for the Yoakum County/Cecil Bickley Library.
There were no road crossing permits, one burn ban exemption, no request for disposal of county equipment, two-line item transfers, and no Soil Conservation request.
Commissioners Woody Lindsey, Ray Marion, Tommy Box, and Tim Addison, as well as County Judge Jim Barron, were all in attendance.

The next meeting will be held on Monday, June 25, starting at 10 am.