The Somervell Commissioners Court considered proposed rate changes for trash pick up.

Dave Moore with IESI Waste Management, said the current rate is $5 for up to 500 pounds of household trash. Under the new rates, anyone over the age of 62 would pay $4.

The rates for trash over 500 pounds will also be calculated differently. Under the old rates, customers were charged $30 for 501 pounds up to 1,000 pounds of trash. Now charges will be calculated based on a percentage.

Moore also said IESI would continue to collect tires, but the county would be responsible for disposing of them. Gene Ratliff was able to secure lower rates for the tires. A passenger vehicle tire will cost $2 to dispose of. Ratliff will place a collection trailer at the IESI transfer sight.

Commissioner James Barnard said more than 2,000 tires were collected during the countywide clean up.

The new rates will be posted and will take effect on July 15.

The court also reviewed a bid for a new trailer for the fire department. The $45,427 bid was from Metro Fire. Mark Crawford with the Somervell County Fire Department said they decided to look into buying the foam trailer after two large fires last year.

We are buying the trailer because of all the gas wells coming into the county, Crawford said. We had two big fires last year and we had to borrow TXUs foam trailer, so we decided to buy our own.

The bid will be reviewed by the court and will be acted upon within the next two weeks.

The Somervell Central Appraisal District (CAD) presented the 2009 budget to the Commissioners Court.

County Judge Walter Maynard said there was a major increase in monies used for personnel and that CAD had been dipping into the reserved funds.

Part of the budgeting issues stem from problems with previous auditors. Former Chief Appraiser Duane Cox resigned two months ago amid allegations that people were not being appraised equally.

Ben Mieth, CAD board member, said the CAD spent $30,000 to bring in a consultant to help straighten things out. Mieth felt the consultant brought new insight and a plan to clear up the confusion.

Wes Rollen stepped in last week as the new chief appraiser. He said the additional $40,000 under personnel was there just in case.

The money is tagged as the salary for another appraiser. Rollen said they are not actively seeking to fill the position right away, but that he should know within six months if another appraiser is needed.

As the discussion with the court progressed, Mieth said appraisers were not going out into the county to appraise properties. Rollen assured the court that CAD had a plan in place to get the appraisers going and to make sure properties are not left off the roll.

Maynard asked Rollen if the maps they already have would be sufficient. Rollen said the maps for Somervell are not up to standard and he supported a re-mapping project.

Mieth said he was surprised and disappointed to hear that the mapping would have to be redone. He said they have already spent a lot of money over the last five or 10 years on the maps.

The total effective rate for Somervell was 1.7849 per $100 in 2007.

The court then adjourned into executive session with Maynard stating no action would likely follow the conclusion of the session.