BONHAM — After three budget workshops and a few weeks of negotiating, the Fannin County Commissioners Court approved their proposed budget for the 2015 — 2016 fiscal year on Monday.

BONHAM — After three budget workshops and a few weeks of negotiating, the Fannin County Commissioners Court approved their proposed budget for the 2015 — 2016 fiscal year on Monday.


The biggest changes to the budget include the structure of the county tax rate, county employee pay raises and money for various projects around the county.


"We’ve got it (the budget) done, and I believe we got it right," Fannin County Judge Spanky Carter said.


The county tax rate will remain at 59.5 cents per $100 valuation, however, the commissioners restructured its components. In the proposed budget, 78 percent is allocated to the general fund and 22 percent is allocated to the road and bridge fund. This will give each commissioner about $100,000 to put toward fixing damage caused by the recent rain and floods, Carter said. Precinct 3 received slightly more money than the others because it sustained the most damage.


There were a few other new additions to the proposed budget. The commissioners allocated $250,000 for maintenance of county buildings, which will include replacing the windows of the courthouse.


"It’s an old building, but I think we try to take care of it," Carter said, "I think that’s what the citizens expect us to do. I’m excited about putting new windows in."


The commissioners allocated $200,000 toward efforts for the reconveyance of Lake Fannin to the county. Fannin County residents and government officials alike have been attempting for years to obtain control of the lake. The lake is currently controlled by the U.S. Forest Service, who closed the lake to the public in 1995 and locked its gates about two years ago.


While it is not a done deal, Carter said, the U.S. Forest Service has told county officials that if they complete maintenance work on areas of the lake, the service will reconvey 340 acres of Lake Fannin to the county. The maintenance that needs to be completed could total $200,000 at the most. The commissioners hope that the allocated money will be a step in the right direction toward reopening the lake.


"I think that it’s a progressive step, and hopefully we can get this resolved this upcoming budget year, too," Commissioner Stan Barker said.


Finally, the commissioners gave an employee who works in the office of Justice of the Peace Royce Smithey a pay raise. The employee went from a grade one, level four pay rate to a grade two, level four pay rate, Carter said.