Grayson County commissioners decided, Tuesday, that working part-time at the County means no more than 1,500 hours a year. The decision was a response to the rule that says anyone who works over 29 hours a week must be offered health care insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Grayson County commissioners decided, Tuesday, that working part-time at the County means no more than 1,500 hours a year. The decision was a response to the rule that says anyone who works over 29 hours a week must be offered health care insurance under the Affordable Care Act.


Commissioner Phyllis James said there were a number of ways the Court could address the issue, but she said the way she planned on handling it in her precinct was to tell part-time people they couldn’t work any more than 29 hours a week. She said if those workers don’t like that news, they could find jobs elsewhere.


Jeff Whitmire, commissioner Precinct 1, asked what would happen if his temporary workers worked more than 40 hours a week during only one quarter of the year. James said the County gets to pick the period of time which will be reviewed by federal government to see if the County employed any part-time people over 29 hours a week. She suggested that the County set that it at a year. That way, she said, the hours would be averaged out over a year. If the employee worked no more than 30 hours a week during the whole year, then the County would not have to pay for health care coverage for part-time employees. After a great deal more discussion, the Court decided to set up a new rule that no part-time or seasonal employee can work more than 1,500 hours per year. James said it will be up to the individual elected official or department head to make sure they are keeping the proper records to prove that their employees are staying under that level.


In other business, the Court approved two names for the County’s Child Welfare Board. Mark Teague, president of that Board, asked the Court to approve Wayne Hale and Amy Oefinger as new board members. Teague said Hale retired from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services after 30 years of service. "He is very knowledgeable about CPS and is very well known throughout the community," Teague said in his paperwork to the Court.


He said Oefinger is a Sherman resident who has been working with the Child Welfare Board on the Grown-Up Easter Egg Hunt. A dedicated volunteer at St. Mary’s Catholic School, Oefinger "has wonderful marketing and fundraising abilities," Teague said. He said he has been very lucky, over his tenure with the Child Welfare Board, to have great board members like Hale and Oefinger.


Commissioners also approved an interlocal agreement with the city of Tom Bean for $3,000 worth or pot hole repairs and a preliminary plat for property at Fossil Ridge on Lake Texoma.


The Court approved the filing of the County’s proposed 2015 budget with the County Clerk. Grayson County Judge Drue Bynum said the proposed budget is a far cry from the one that will be approved in the coming months. Grayson County Auditor Richey Rivers said the effective tax rate for the County would be 48 cents per $100 valuation and the County’s current tax rate is 49 cents per $100 valuation. Rivers said the new budget notes $210 million worth of new property in the County which will result in about $1 million in new tax value.


Bynum said he and Rivers will start meeting with individual department heads and elected officials next week to try to reign the budget in. The next week, he said, commissioners will start to hammer out the final version of the budget.


Commissioners also approved offers on three pieces of property in Whitewright from Lance Freer and on one piece of property from Marven Arterberry. None of the property has any structures on it, said Grayson County Tax Assessor Collector Bruce Stidham. Stidham said the purchasers intend to return the property to the County’s tax roles. While most on the Court voted in favor of accepting the offers on the four pieces of property for amounts that ranged from $1,000 to $500 each, Commissioner Jeff Whitmire said he would prefer to have the Whitewright School District and city council make decisions on it first. Because Whitmire lost the battle three votes to one, Bynum did not need to vote, but he noted that he would have voted with Whitmire, had his vote been required.