GATESVILLE — Coryell County commissioners on Monday approved money to buy 20 electronic voting machines and agreed to pay Limestone County to house inmates crowded out of the county jail.
Commissioners also imposed a 90-day ban on outdoor burning and heard budget requests as they prepare to vote on a draft budget for fiscal year 2014 by the end of July.
Tax Assessor/Collector Justin Carothers got approval from the commissioners’ court to buy 20 used eSlate voting machines at $2,000 each.
The purchase will bring to 90 the number of voting machines in the county, Carothers said, enough to conduct the 2016 presidential election.
Under the countywide voting system the county will start using in November, all votes must be cast on the eSlate machines, with no paper-ballot option.
“This is a good deal,” Carothers said of buying the slightly used machines, which cost $3,500 each new.
Commissioners voted to renew an agreement to pay Limestone County $44 per inmate per day to board Coryell inmates.
Because of overcrowding in the jail in Gatesville, Coryell County spends about $500,000 a year to house inmates in other counties.
District Attorney Dusty Boyd submitted a budget request that included $63,800 for a new assistant district attorney, increased case preparation and travel expenses.
There are 762 open felony cases in his office, Boyd said, including indicted, unindicted and backlogged cases from last year.
“We are extremely busy,” Boyd said. “We need to get more hands on deck.”
County Clerk Barbara Simpson requested an $18,000 increase in her budget — $1,000 in labor for computer hardware maintenance and $17,000 for software maintenance.
In other action before Monday’s court session, County Judge John Firth joined members of the Gatesville Exchange Club for a rededication of the club’s Freedom Shrine, 19 replicas of historic American documents displayed on the wall of the commissioners’ courtroom.