Mary Simpson told commissioners Monday that learning her contract with Somervell County was in jeopardy was "a shock."

Simpson, owner of Taylor's Turn-N-Burn, had reportedly failed to comply with provisions of the contract relating to timely payment of concession and catering commissions from events at Somervell County Expo Center and Texas Amphitheater.

The county receives 10 percent commission on vending and catering sales and 12 percent from concessions.

The contract requires payment on the second business day following an event for concessions and vending, County Judge Ford explained, adding a letter was sent to Simpson about three months ago "concerning noncompliance with portions of the contract" and little improvement had been seen since.

Catering is not required to be paid until Simpson receives payment for that service.

Commissioners voted to renew the contract in August, and despite a lengthy and favorable discussion on the issue, problems were not mentioned at that time.

Most recently, Ford said payments on events held Oct. 5-7 were late.

Following Monday's meeting, Ford told the Reporter the delinquent payments "were becoming a habit."

Further explaining why the item had been placed on the agenda, County Attorney Ron Hankins said he received information regarding payments due in September and was asked to send a letter to Simpson regarding a default in payment.

But Hankins said before the letter was sent, Simpson visited his office and pointed out that the court had renewed her contract effective Oct. 1, and the noncompliance issue related to the previous contract were no longer valid.

"Obviously, we cannot have two contracts in place," Hankins told the court.

Simpson told the court Monday that she had consulted an attorney who said if a new contract was signed while there were underlying issues with the previous contract, they were forgiven.

"To get one week into the new contract and get slammed with this is a shock," Simpson said.

Events under the new contract payments from sales at The Promise on Oct. 5 and 6 and the Fall Festival on Oct. 7 were reportedly late.

Simpson said she had originally gone to make the payments on Monday, Oct. 8, but county offices were closed for Columbus Day, and all of the payments were made by the following Thursday.

Simpson said she hadn't received written notice of default under the current contract, which is a requirement of the agreement.

Following a call for a motion on the issue, Commissioner John Curtis, Pct. 2, said he didn't see a basis for termination since prior complaints were voided by the new contract.

Commissioners voted to maintain Taylor's Turn-N-Burn contract and forgo awarding it to the only other bidder, Cliff Simmons and Simmons Catering.