Ector County commissioners on Tuesday voted to lift a burning ban in place since June and approved the budget and tax rate for the 2022-23 fiscal year.

The ban on burning was passed on March 22 and extended on June 28.

In early August, precipitation was 2.23 inches for the year. That changed over the past month, as CBS7 reported over 4 inches of precipitation during that time, while average temperatures dropped 7 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to a map provided by the Texas A&M Forest Service, as of Sept. 9, all counties surrounding Ector have burn bans. The closest counties that do not have a burning ban are Loving, Reeves, and Pecos.

The Texas A&M Forest Service also lowered the wildfire preparedness level to Level 1 on September 6. Texas A&M Forest Service details on its website “Readiness levels are dictated by fuel and weather conditions, fire activity, and availability of fire suppression resources. Level 5 is the highest level forest fire activity and indicates a significant commitment of resources to fires at the local level.

Commissioners also approved the budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year. County Auditor Randy Donner said the approved budget had a general fund of $67,889,795 and a sales tax fund of $38,749,251.

Donner said Monday that was an increase of about $2 million from what was estimated before budget hearings began on Aug. 1.

The court also approved the adoption of the 2022-2023 tax rate for Ector County. It will be $0.35000 per $100 valuation, up from $0.36500 per $100 last year.

The county held its required hearings for the rate change last week, as the rate will still bring in more revenue than the year before due to rising valuations.

The Commissioners also approved:

  • Use of the Ector County Coliseum parking lot on September 18 from 8 a.m. to noon for a drive-thru at the Pay What You Can Afford Immunization Clinic.
  • Use of Courthouse Lawn and Exit Harbor September 24 from 6-10 p.m. for West Texas Fest.
  • Accepted a donation of $4,385.16 from Law Enforcement Partners to the Ector County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Reviewed, discussed and took action regarding the increase in the price of paper towels and toilet paper II (proposal # 20-11-13-01); and authorize the county judge to sign all documents associated with this agenda item.
  • Considered, discussed and taken all action regarding a Master Service Agreement between Lexipol and Ector County and authorized the county judge to sign.
  • Approved a contract between the DBA PermiaCare Permian Basin Community Centers and Ector County for Jail Medical Services and Continuity of Care Services and authorized the county judge to sign.
  • Approved a contract between DBA PermiaCare Permian Basin Community Centers and Ector County for Associate Mental Health Services and authorized the county judge to sign.
  • Considered, discussed and taken action regarding Change Order #2 for 67th Street Improvements PO #: 38409 and authorized the County Judge to sign all documents associated with this agenda item.
  • Review, discussion and action on reclassification of Engineering Technician position to Construction Inspector and adjust budget accordingly.
  • Considered, discussed and taken all action to authorize road improvements on County Road 307 (S. Wheeler Road) as presented in paving and drainage construction plans designed by Landgraf, Crutcher & Associates dated August 8, 2022 and authorize the county judge to sign.
  • Accepted a donation of public road improvements for the S. Wheeler Road upgrade by Oxy Low Carbon Venture (OLSV) and to accept maintenance of the public portion pavement after completion, and authorize the county judge to sign.
  • Considered, discussed and acted upon plans, schedule and estimate for 0.27 mile C&G along North Sycamore Drive Curb & Gutter along Sycamore Drive, and to engage Landgraf, Crutcher & Associated (LCA ) to provide all necessary PS&E in the amount of $28,140.00 and authorize the county judge to sign off.
  • Approved an MHRC development project to serve 183 Soto Avenue 1.0 acre located in Soto Blk 1 Subdivision, Lot 4 (Prec. 1) Ector County, Texas, Joel Talamantes and authorized County Judge to sign. Eddie Landrum – Planning and Development 15.
  • Approved an MHRC development project to serve 15635 W. Nugget – Muniz 10.3 Acres, Sect 26, Blk 44 (Prec. 1) Ector County, Texas and authorized the county judge to sign off.
  • Approved Larenda Addition replat of Lot 3, Block 6, Gardendale Subdivision Ector County Texas and authorized County Judge to sign.
  • Approved Consent Agenda, including an item transfer to General Fund, Senior Centers, Special Department Equipment, Contracted Services 001-630-5507, 001-630-5309 for $5,600 ; an item transfer to the General Fund, Cemetery, Equipment Maintenance and Repair, 001-720-5247 from Special Department Equipment, 001-720-5507 for $7,500.
  • In addition, a line item transferred to the general fund, animal control, uniform supplies, 001-361-5176 for $982, to animal supplies and expenses, 001-361-5198 for $2,500 from the sheriff, furniture and equipment from the department, 001-3605199 for $3,482.
  • Approved a budget amendment to General Fund, Library, Library Supplies, 001-690-5185 and Donated Revenue, 001-4171 for $5,000.
  • Approved Accounts Payable Fund Requirements Report by September 13, 2022 to review County financial statements and reports.