By Don Bolding

Killeen Daily Herald

BELTON – Bell County Clerk Shelley Coston reported to county commissioners in their regular meeting Monday morning that 2,427 people had voted through Sunday in the constitutional amendment election.

Early voting continues through 7 p.m. today at five locations:

Bell County Annex, 301 Priest Drive in Killeen;

Killeen Community Center, 2201 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd.;

Harker Heights Parks and Recreation Center, 307 Millers Crossing;

Bell County Courthouse Annex, 550 E. Second Ave. in Belton;

Bell County Annex, 205 E. Central Ave. in Temple.

Election Day is 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday.

Totals through Sunday included 261 ballots cast at the Killeen annex, 370 at the Killeen Community Center, 412 at Harker Heights, 714 in Temple and 664 in Belton. Six of the votes were mailed in.

The amendment would authorize the Legislature to "provide for a reduction of the limitation on the total amount of ad valorem taxes that may be imposed for public school purposes on the residence homesteads of the elderly or disabled to reflect any reduction in the rate of those taxes for the 2006 and 2007 tax years," according to the language on the ballot.

Coston said she was doing everything possible to ensure voters know where the polling places are.

"No matter how hard we try, there are always some who say they didn't know where and when to vote," she said.

Commissioners also passed a resolution honoring the Bell County Historical Commission and its chairman, Ron Gates of Killeen, and David Evans of Salado for achievements recently recognized by the Texas Historical Commission.

The county historical commission received the THC's Distinguished Service Award for County Historical Commissions for the 15th time. The county commissioners cited Gates' organization for "Bell County's active and well-balanced preservation program."

Evans, a social studies teacher, received the state organization's George Christian Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award, the only one presented this year. Evans was the county historical commission's marker chairman for 20 years, facilitating the erection of about 100 state markers recognizing historic properties and people. He said the county now has 225 markers and said the county historical commission has about 60 members, 30 of whom attend meetings.

In other action, commissioners approved the purchase of a four-wheel-drive Ford Escape for about $18,000 from Philpott Motors for the Emergency Management Department. They also approved the county auditor's report on results of the April 21 county auction that netted $47,700, which assistant auditor Russell Williams said was about $300 more than usual, for the sale of a variety of cars, pickups and vans.

Commissioners also ratified the appointment of Samantha Anderson of Coryell County to fill an unexpired term as Coryell County's representative on the Central Counties Mental Health-Mental Retardation Authority's board of trustees.

They approved three matters in the eastern part of the county presented by County Engineer Richard Macchi:

An emergency action plan to notify and assist residents in Site 15 in the Nolan Creek watershed near Belton;

The final plat for Twelve Oaks Estates, a three-lot, three-acre subdivision off Rose Lane in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of Salado;

An agreement with Kleinfelder, Inc., to conduct a geotechnical investigation of a failed roadway at Mill Creek Springs. Macchi said the county has improved water drainage there but needs a soil test.

Contact Don Bolding at or call (254) 501-7557

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