Somervell County is still wet.
At least it’s wet enough to avoid having to enact a burn ban.
Commissioners called for consideration of a potential burn ban on Monday, but no action was taken after Somervell County Fire Chief Mark Crawford said it was not necessary.
Crawford noted that his recommendation is based on the local Keetch-Byram Drought (KBD) Index reading, which measures wildfire potential. The index assesses the flammability of organic material in the ground based in part on current moisture levels.
Crawford said the current KBD Index reading is less than 200. That’s “typical of spring dormant season,” according to an online post by Texas A&M University.
County Judge Danny Chambers said he put the burn ban up for consideration after Gov. Greg Abbott issued a drought disaster declaration on April 13 for many other Texas counties. Somervell County is on the list of counties mentioned in Abbott’s drought disaster declaration, along with Erath, Bosque and Johnson counties, among others.
EXPO CENTER VOTING SITE
Somervell County Elections Administrator Christy Covey recommended that the Somervell County Expo Center be designated as the early voting site for future county runoff and general elections in November, and all future primary or special elections.
“It’s more of a convenience — more parking, and a larger voting space will be available,” Covey said of the consolidation, noting that some voters have voiced concern over a lack of parking spaces downtown around the annex building early voting site in the past. It also helps to avoid confusion among the voters who aren’t sure where they are supposed to go for early voting.
“If a voter gets sent to another precinct, they get frustrated, and they may or may not go to the right one,” Covey said after the meeting. “This way, they can just change tables. I’m definitely excited about it. I really think it will make things easier all the way around.”
Early voting for runoff elections was already set up to be in the Expo Center, so that’s not changing. The change does not apply to the current early voting sites in use for the city of Glen Rose, the hospital district or the school board.
They voted in favor of the motion unanimously, 5-0.
BEACON OF LIGHT
Somervell County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Dwayne Griffin told commissioners that the wiring and electrical controller for the beacon and side lights on Chalk Mountain had been replaced. The wiring and insulation was approximately 44 years old, according to Judge Chambers and had disintegrated to the point that something had to be done.
The warning lights are a requirement of the Federal Aviation Administration, which can levy a fine of $5,000 per day for non-compliance. The total cost of $5,580 was approved by the commissioners by a 5-0 vote.
The job is likely to be completed next week, Chambers noted.