By Mark Engebretson

Palo Pinto County commissioners accepted a petition from Logan Loftin, Santo Volunteer Fire Department, for the creation of Emergency Services District No. 2 in the southeast corner of Palo Pinto County.
If the 100 signatures are confirmed as property owners registered to vote in that area, the measure will be on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.
Last year, commissioners accepted a petition from Santo VFD Chief David Hubbard for an election on the formation of Emergency Services District No. 2 in the Santo EMS response area.
“We provide EMS support for Santo, Lone Camp and Brazos,” Hubbard said.
“There are 40,000 vehicles a day that cross I-20 and (Highway) 281 intersection,” he added. “We would go after (sales) tax money, not ad valorem.”
Hubbard added that, with the sales tax revenue from businesses, it could eventually lead to a staffed EMS 24-7.
Judith Evans, county elections coordinator said the proposed ESD 2 election would be paid by the county, approximately $5,000. If voters approved its formation, the ESD would have to pay 25 percent of the costs of elections thereafter.
The first public hearing on the petition will be held after Evans verifies at least 100 signatures.
In another matter, the Texas Historical Commission recognized the work of the Palo Pinto County Historical Commission.


In other business, the court:
• Approved a measure that would allow the clerk for Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Shawn Humphries to work one day a week for Precinct 2 JP Shane Long, who does not have a clerk.
Long said he needs help with the filing of civil papers and other routine office tasks.
• Approved the purchase of a lot in Mingus measuring 12.5-by-105 feet for $750.
• Approved a contract to renew the county’s health-care plan. The premium increase is 3.6 percent.
• Approved advertising for bids for a new fire alarm system at the jail. Sheriff’s office officials were told the current, 24-year-old system, must be replaced or the jail will not pass its next inspection.