While approving advertising funds for the Madison County Fair and the Texas Mushroom Festival on Monday, County Judge Tony Leago questioned the policies involved for donations.
Leago, and other commissioners, questioned whether the agencies followed procedures in providing receipts, as the funds from the hotel/motel tax must be used for advertising.
County Auditor Toni Joyner said that organizations that receive these funds also must provide an accounting of people that have stayed in local motels for the event in question.
"We need to come up with a list to hand to people who come asking us for money,” Leago said. “They need to provide a summary of what the money was used for.”
The question came up as a group recently used funds for prize money, which is not allowed by company policy.
Leago said the county will come up with a request sheet that has the policy in writing on it.
Along with that, the county approved $4,000 for the Madison County Fair and $5,000 for the Texas Mushroom Festival to be used for advertising.
The judge also addressed contributions, saying that there are non-profit entities that will receive funds, but no agreements are in place.
Joyner said that she has told the Commissioners’ Court for years that the county cannot make donations to non-profit organizations just because; they can if there is some exchange for services, and it must be spelled out in writing.
“It is not legal for counties to (do this),” she said.
Leago said that the county will now make sure that any organizations seeking funds from the county follow guidelines, which the county will draft and approve at a later date.
In other business, the county:
•approved racial profiling reports for the county sheriff’s office and both county constables;
•appointed Commissioner Carl Cannon to the Solid Waste Advisory Committee of the Brazos Valley Council of Governments;
•approved a lot split for Fellowship Baptist Church; and
•approved the removal of the public comment items from the county meeting agendas.