County names Watson Pct. 4 Constable, hires new delinquent tax collection firm

Malcolm Watson was named Pct. 4 Constable at the March 27 meeting of the Medina County Commissioners Court.

Tax Assessor Collector Melissa Lutz hopes a new delinquent tax collection firm will help the growing needs of the County. The County is the tax collection entity for all taxing units in Medina County, i.e., cities, schools, ESDs. Commissioners approved the hire of the new firm; McCreary, Veselka, Bragg & Allen, P.C. and locally, Huesser & Ireland, P.C. during the regular meeting on March 27, 2016.
First on the agenda was to terminate the contract with the current delinquent tax collector Henry Steen. The contract with Steen will be voided as of May 1, 2017. Judge Chris Schuchart praised Steen for his many years of service.
Huesser & Ireland have been collecting delinquent taxes for some twenty years for the various county Justices of the Peace according to Lutz.
Under the contract the firm will keep 20% of all the delinquent taxes, penalty and interest collected. This is the contractual fee. All of the fees associated with delivering notices of delinquent taxes will be paid by the firm.
The new firms first order of business was to ask Commissioners to approve a resolution to impose additional penalty to defray collection costs.
The resolution basically allows that if taxes remain delinquent after July 1 the firm will be allowed to collect a tax fee on the delinquent business’ tangible personal property.
Monies collected under this resolution do not fall under the 20% contract fee.
The firm has the manpower to pursue the penalties under the tangible personal property tax code.
(Lynch/Neuman motion)
New Constable
Commissioners appointed Malcolm Watson to the Constable Precinct #4 position. TJ Richardson will be constable until April 7th. Richardson tendered a verbal resignation to Commissioners two weeks ago.
[Editor’s note: Watson has served many positions in law enforcement, including serving as a game warden for roughly 32 years (in Travis, Kleburg, and Medina Counties), a MVISD school resource officer for a year, and a Medina County Court bailiff from roughly 2006-13, and most recently, he served 4 and a half years at the LaSalle County Sheriff’s office.
“I wanted to get back home, where I need to be, and work with the people of Medina County again. I’m eager to get to work,” Watson said.]
Sub-depository Contract
One bid was received and accepted for the Devine Sub-Depository contract. The bid came from and awarded to Security State Bank in Devine. SSB held the contract before and will continue to with no changes. (Beck/Lynch motion).
• The advertisement of a public hearing to vacate and replat one lot into two in the Sweeney Ranch Subdivision was approved. The subdivision is in Precinct #1.
• Action to post on the County’s website the proposed plat revision of Lots 28 and 29 in Summit Ridge Subdivision into one lot was approved. Summit is located in Precinct #1.
• The Letter of Credit for Oak Meadows Subdivision roads was released. The roads were deemed acceptable by Commissioner Pct. 4 Jerry Beck, thus, allowing for the letter to be released on April 1, 2017.
Juvenile Probation Contracts
Three contracts for the Juvenile Probation Department were approved. The contracts had been approved by the Juvenile Probation Board before being presented to Commissioner’s Court.
a. Liberty Resources Family, Inc. Provides for counseling for offenders via computer.
b. Texas Juvenile Justice Department Amendment #2 State Aid and targeted grant contract.
c. Interlocal cooperation contract with Texas Juvenile Justice Department. Provides for the use of and access to the statewide juvenile information system.
Lease –Purchase Agreement
Precinct #2 was renting a Motor Grader and Roller. Commissioners approved an agreement with CAT Financial to lease to purchase the above equipment.
Financial Report
The annual financial report for Emergency Services District #1 for year ended September 30, 2016 was accepted. The District encompassed Bandera, Uvalde, Medina and Real Counties, Utopia and Vanderpool.
According to the report the ESD had total revenue of $202.825 and expenses of $190,546.
ESD #3
Doug Self agreed to fill the unexpired term of Robert Hart.

By Trina Williams
Staff Writer