The 550 Grayson County residents who are counted as habitual offenders (for failing to pay tolls) by the North Texas Tollway Authority might get a surprise the next time they go to register their vehicles in Grayson County. County commissioners approved an interlocal agreement Tuesday with the NTTA that will result in the Grayson County Vehicle Registration Department refusing to issue tags or licenses to people whose records have been flagged by the NTTA.

The 550 Grayson County residents who are counted as habitual offenders (for failing to pay tolls) by the North Texas Tollway Authority might get a surprise the next time they go to register their vehicles in Grayson County. County commissioners approved an interlocal agreement Tuesday with the NTTA that will result in the Grayson County Vehicle Registration Department refusing to issue tags or licenses to people whose records have been flagged by the NTTA.


Grayson County Tax Assessor Collector Bruce Stidham said the County will be paid $400 per year for refusing to issue the documents to people whose names have been flagged. Responding to questions from individual commissioners, Stidham said the process shouldn’t slow down his staff very much. Grayson County is not responsible for putting the flags on the names or removing them. County staff will simply tell the resident that his or her record has been flagged by the NTTA. The county employees will then give that person a sheet of paper explaining how to get the flag removed.


Stidham said County residents owe the NTTA $344,000. Grayson County Commissioner Phyllis James said it is a toll road and if people don’t want to pay the toll, then they shouldn’t drive on it. The other commissioners seemed to agree with her as the request passed.


In addition, county leaders approved interlocal agreements with 18 area fire departments and six ambulance providers that provide services to Grayson County residents who live in the unincorporated areas of Grayson County. The contracts approved Tuesday dedicate $424,143 in county funds to pay for fire protection and $863,768 to pay for ambulance services. Grayson County Emergency Management Coordinator Sarah Somers said the contracts approved Tuesday accounted for all but one contract with an emergency services provider.


Commissioners also returned to a subject Tuesday that they had tried to handle about a month ago. Back then, commissioners approved a request by the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office to hire up to five additional contract workers from Securitas to provide security in the jail while county jail staff members work security in the courtrooms during arraignments. Officials hoped that would help to move more inmates through the process faster during what are referred to as "jail trains" in which inmates accept pleas or otherwise resolve their cases quickly.


On Tuesday, Jail Administrator Roger Brazil said the problem with that solution is Securitas’ lack of people. He said the company has not been able to provide five people who meet the qualifications the SO needs to replace officers who are going up to the courtrooms. Brazil said the contracting company was only paying people around $10 per hour and it is hard to get people with the qualifications the county wants at that rate. He said if the people are hired directly by the county, they can be paid around $12.50 an hour. With benefits, Brazil said, those employees will make just over $15 an hour. Commissioner James noted that having those people on the county’s staff, who are trained to Grayson County Sheriff’s Office specifications means the SO will have a good hiring pool should the need arise. Brazil agreed with her.