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County approves tax abatement
by Tim Delaney
Jul 13, 2013 | 1283 views | 0 0 comments | 40 40 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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J.D. McGuill ,with the Refugio County Jamboree, presents Refugio County Judge Rene Mascarro a $2,500 check. McGuill had already given the county two $250 checks for a total of $3,000. The Refugio County Jamboree, almost 23 years old, renovated the marquee at the community center.
Tim Delaney photo J.D. McGuill ,with the Refugio County Jamboree, presents Refugio County Judge Rene Mascarro a $2,500 check. McGuill had already given the county two $250 checks for a total of $3,000. The Refugio County Jamboree, almost 23 years old, renovated the marquee at the community center.
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REFUGIO – Refugio County Commissioners approved a five-year, scaled county tax abatement for Wilkinson Chevrolet at their meeting Tuesday morning, July 9.

Wilkinson’s general sales manager, Robbie Blaschke, said initially his company was re-investing $600,000, but since that time, roof leaks and other things needing replacement have upped the re-investment to more than $700,000.

Blaschke said he estimates the project will be completed the second week of September.

The tax abatement begins with 80 percent the first year, followed by 60 percent, 40 percent, 20 percent and zero in the fifth year.

Commissioners also approved a request by Basic Energy located at 1207 Swift St. to lay a sewer line to connect with the city of Refugio’s waste water system.

The city already has agreed to a shared cost with Basic Energy, which was willing to pay the cost of a 4-inch line. The city increased the size of the line to an 8-inch line, accepting the additional cost.

Mayor Joey Heard said the city already provides water, and the sewage line would be laid in the county’s right-of-way in the ditch – to be about 7 feet deep.

A discussion was held concerning extending the line all the way to U.S. Highway 183 at some point, which might be paid for by an interlocal agreement between the city and county, going half and half.

Also, Tim Hornback, executive director of the Golden Crescent Couet Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), requested a county contribution.

Last year, the county agreed to pay $3,000 per child, but this year, because the numbers were down for abused and neglected children, the amount came to $1,000 per child.

Hornback said four children and three families were served last year in the county. He said this year, two children and two families are being served.

Hornback said CASA saves money when it has volunteers and at the moment, it has no volunteers.

The county already had created a line item in its budget for CASA, so commissioners approved the requested amount of $1,000 per capita.

Commissioners also approved the purchase of five flat drawers and one cabinet for the county clerk’s office.

County Clerk Ida Ramirez noted that digital records are being considered, but it takes time.

County Judge Rene Mascarro suggested summer jobs for students to scan the documents.

The money to buy the drawers and cabinet – $5,355 – will come from the County Clerk’s Record Management Preservation Fee.

Also, commissioners were given an overview of the county’s retirement plan managed by the Texas County & District Retirement System.

Currently, the county takes 6.97 percent of an employee’s check to be put toward retirement (the money is taken out before taxes).

The new rate approved by commissioner was 7 percent for each employee, and that would be matched by the county’s 7.03 percent upon the retirement of an employee.

An 2013-1014 estimated budget figured by the county treasurer and auditor would be $4.653 million (only numbers for general and road and bridge funds).

The retirement cost would be figured on 6.79 percent from October through December and then nine months from January through September at 7.03 percent. That totals an estimated $324,299 for the county’s 127 employees.
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