By Alicia Lacy

The Cove Herald

GATESVILLE — The Coryell County Sheriff’s Department will receive more vehicles to help maintain smooth operations following the addition of several new positions.

The Coryell County Commissioners’ Court approved a financing agreement with Extraco Banks to finance four vehicles for the department.

“We’ve got four patrol units. We added another one to our investigative unit. We got two Crown (Victorias), and this year we’ve picked up two Dodge Chargers because of the fuel mileage,” Chief Deputy Joe Blakely said.

In September, the court approved its 2009 budget, which included the creation of five new positions for the Sheriff’s Department.

Judge John Firth said with the increased size of the department, the added vehicles are needed.

In other commissioners action, the court approved a firefighting agreement with the Copperas Cove and Volunteer Fire Departments in the county.

The court approved the 2009 fiscal year agreement, which includes a $330,000 contribution given to fire departments in the county. Copperas Cove Fire Chief Mike Baker said it’s the county’s subsidy to provide fire service to the residents in the county.

“I think the most recent information we’re seeing here in Central Texas is that we could be the next California. I’d like to express extreme caution. I know it’s a challenge for farmers and ranchers to take care of their property ... without burning, but for now with the weather we have, it’s going to be an extreme challenge for us,” Baker said.

The current drought index is 485 for the county. The commissioners agreed if there is no rain by Monday, Firth has the authority to call a burn ban for the county.

On the Dec. 12 meeting, the court will rule on firework restrictions.

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