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County Clerk’s office receives five-star award

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County plans to refinance bond debt

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KAUFMAN COUNTY–State Representative Keith Bell attended Kaufman County Commissioners Court held March 10 to award the County Clerk’s office on behalf of the Department of State Health Services.
“Department of State Health Services states the five-star award acknowledges vital statistics partners who understand the importance of vital statistics and its impact on the citizens of Texas. This award honors partners who go above and beyond the duties of birth and death registration by attending training and keeping up with the latest legislation and trends. For the 14th time, the Texas Department of State Health Services has awarded the star award to the Kaufman County Clerks office. The exemplary award says thank you for going above and beyond to register your records and ensure excellent customer service, security and data quality in Texas,” stated Bell.
For offices to be eligible for this award, 100% of the records must be completed within one day.
David Mendez and George Williford were back at Commissioners’ Court to explain the possibility of refinancing bonds previously issued under Government Code 1207.
“1207 allows the court to give a period of six months to examine the market and if the market conditions are good, to sell refunding bonds which would pay off those old bonds. The new bonds would then be issued at a lower interest rate,” Mendez explained.
He stated that the 2014 bonds aren’t callable presently so the county would be doing an advanced refund. The term advanced refund refers to the withholding of a new bond issue’s proceeds for longer than 90 days before using them to pay off an outstanding bond issue’s obligation.
Municipalities typically use advanced refunding to lower borrowing costs and to take advantage of lower interest rates.
Mendez stated that Federal law on taxes changed two years ago, eliminating the ability to issue tax exempt bonds to refinance tax exempt debt. “The bond interest that we would pay a bond holder for the new bond, would be taxable to the bond holder,” said Mendez.  
George Willford of Hilltop Securities, stated “This is just a situation where you have bond debt outstanding, interest rates are lower, therefore an opportunity to refinance and lower the payments significantly.” The motion was approved by the commissioners.
Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Texas State Chair David Blackorby presented awards to Commissioner Pct. 3 Terry Barber and Supervisors Buddy Stevens and Aaron Conway on behalf of William Morrison. Morrison is a non-commissioned officer of the Texas National Guard.
“Through many deployments he has been totally supported by the county and his supervisors and in doing so has asked us to recognize three of his supervisors here with the county,” Blackorby said.
ESGR is a Department of Defense office, led and operated by volunteers and staff who sustain the active support of America’s employers for men and women serving in the Guard and Reserve.
In other business, commissioners:
• Approved Farmers Electric Cooperative’s request to construct electrical power distribution facilities, approved Star Transit Ridership reports for Feb. 2020 and Second Quarter for FY 2020.
• Approved the re-appointment of Robert Messer to the North East Texas Regional Mobility Authority (NETRMA) Board of Directors for a two-year term ending February 1, 2022.
• Approved placing “No Thru Truck” signs on County Roads 125 and 255.
• Heard and approved the Racial Profiling Report for Kaufman County provided by Constable Mayfield of Pct. 1.
• Discussed scope of services and contract options for RFP 20-12: Kaufman County compensation study. No motion was made.
• Approved the appointment of Kathryn Sue Osinde to the Kaufman County Child Welfare Board.
• Discussed and approved the application for funding for training equipment for the Sheriff’s Department.
• Heard and approved the Fire Marshal’s monthly activity report and accepted a fund for K-9 care from South Padre Fire Department.
• Approved the Transportation Services Contract between Innovative Transportation Solutions, Inc. and Kaufman County, the purchase of a 2021 Kenworth T880 for $139,589.36 for Precinct 3, and the purchase of a 2013 Peterbilt 384 in the amount of $47,250 for Precinct 4.
• Approved claims for payment totaling $7,831,348.25.
• Approved Commissioner Court minutes from Feb. 25.