By JESSIE HORTON
ERATH COUNTY (March 9, 2015) — Not all the invoices are in yet, but Erath County Commissioners were told the total cost of the capital murder trial against Eddie Ray Routh was estimated at just under $1 million by county finance officials during their regular meeting Monday.
While the number is high, it’s almost right where commissioners and other county officials expected. Earlier this fiscal year, when they were creating the budget for 2014-2015, county commissioners and Erath County Judge Tab Thompson factored in an estimated cost of $1 million to set aside for the trial. Monday they made an amendment to the county budget to move the money to an account from which invoices coming can be paid.
The commissioners also approved adjusting the pay for precinct equipment operators from $10 to $15 per hour for part-time employees. Commissioner Herbert Brown, Pct. 2, told the court he was hiring for the position and to be competitive with other local businesses hiring workers with a CDL, he needed to increase the pay per hour.
Erath County Treasurer Donna Kelly told the commissioners the pay hadn’t increased in five or six years and so long as commissioners didn’t go out of their already approved budgets, the change could be made. She and Brown agreed the increase was only for equipment operators who work 29 hours per week or less.
In other business, the court approved both the bid for a tax sale property in the Clifton Heights Addition for $3,500 and the deeming of broken machinery and out-of-date materials from the Veterans’ Office of zero value. Both department heads approved the measures before hand and recommended them to the court.