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Commission mulls new fee structure for rentals

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SanJacCountySealBy Tony Farkas
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COLDSPRING — The San Jacinto County Commissioners Court discussed implementing a fee structure for people and organizations wanting to rent the Emergency Shelter at its regular meeting on Nov. 30.

Commissioner Mark Nettuno said the county waives fees for use of the shelter for events, but commissioners contend that the fee structure is open-ended with no details, and still costs the county money

In the last fiscal year, the county, through the general fund, had to contribute $29,000 for the shelter to break even.

Currently, the county requires a $200 deposit and then $250 for ½ of the structure Sunday through Wednesday, and $500 for half Thursday through Saturday. Prices are double if the whole shelter is rented.

Commissioner Donny Marrs said the county needs to put more thought into costs for the building’s use.

County personnel to come in and setup and take-down for an event amounts to around $160 for renting half of the space, and double if the whole shelter is used.

Commissioners Laddie McAnally said it is OK to waive fees for a function that is strictly to help the community.

“I’m not talking about every function we have … but there are some organizations that should be considered for a lower rate,” he said.

Nettuno said regardless of the fee structure, there still needs to insurance coverage provided by each renter.

The county appointed several commissioners to come up with a fee structure to be brought to a future court session.

In other business, the court:

•approved an agreement with FEMA for a public warning system, with commissioners McAnally and Brandon abstaining;

•approved bond renewal for Constable Ray Atchley;

•approved a “Sweats for Vets” clothing drive collection point for the Courthouse;

•approved county equipment as surplus;

•approved an interlocal agreement with the city of Shepherd for inspections;

•approved having IT personnel on call for use by the Sheriff’s Department on the weekends; and

•approved the purchase of a pickup truck for $43,487 from Buckalew Chevrolet.

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