County to replace paper checks with debit cards for county employees

Starting in January, the small number of county employees who still receive payment through paper checks will have to transition to using payment cards from American National Bank.

 

Starting in January, county employees who receive their payroll in the form of paper checks will instead begin receiving debit cards from the American National Bank loaded with their income.

After investigating the matter on behalf of the Kaufman County Commissioners Court and weighing options from multiple parties, Kaufman County Treasurer Chuck Mohnkern advised the commissioners to vote to switch over payroll from paper checks to debit cards for increased security. The change will not affect employees who receive payroll through direct deposit, which is the majority; only 41 paper checks were issued on the last payroll cycle. However, those employees who have received payments in the traditional method will not have a choice to continue doing so once the change to debit cards is instituted.

The debit cards will be utilized similarly to checks in that they can be cashed at local banks. Additionally, in the event a card is lost or stolen, American National Bank will replace one for free per year. All other replacements will cost employees $5. However, since the cards require a PIN number, Mohnkern and the commissioners agreed that they are more secure than traditional checks.

Additionally at last week’s meeting of the court, the commissioners received an update from the sheriff’s office that indicated that incident reports were up by 1,000 from last year, a direct result of the growing countywide population. The sheriff’s department is also preparing to work through a backlog of narcotics cases now that the commissioners have approved a finalized agreement between Kaufman County and Henderson County to test marijuana kits. After the Texas legislature passed a bill legalizing hemp for farming purposes earlier this year, the mandate fell to local officials to test marijuana kits for THC, which resulted in Kaufman County’s backlog.

The commissioners also approved the payment of annual membership dues to the North Texas Council of governments for the period of Oct. 1, 2019 through Sept. 30, 2020 in the amount of $1,248.50, approved a resolution authorizing the Texas Department of Agriculture Texans Feeding Texans Home Delivered Meals grant program, approved the appointment of Jonathan Leyva to Kaufman County emergency Services District number 5’s board to fill a vacancy for an unexpired term ending Dec. 31, 2020, acknowledged a Kaufman County Veterans Officer accreditation certificate for fiscal year 2020, approved the Star Transit ridership reports for Oct. 2019, approved the deputations of Courtney Akin and Bianca Antuna for the Tax Assessor-Collector’s office, approved the deputations of Tera Jernigan and Jacklyn Salazar for the Kaufman County Clerk’s office, reappointed Janas Byrnes and Mike Holley to the Kaufman County Children’s Shelter Board for a three-year term, approved the reinstatement of lost vacation hours to Vanessa Brooks in the Precinct 4 constable’s office, approved a final plat for Busby Addition in Precinct 4, approved a resolution for night vision goggles for the Kaufman County SWAT Team through Homeland Security grant funding, accepted the Kaufman County sheriff’s monthly report, accepted the Veterans Services monthly report for the fourth quarter, allowed Atmos Energy to bury a gas line in county easement along County Road 260 in precinct 1, granted a utility easement for the City of Kemp to replace an existing water pipeline that crosses county property, approved an interlocal agreement between Municipal District number four (Devonshire) and precinct 2 to widen and resurface Ranch Road and to accept a donation for the project, entered into an interlocal agreement between Kaufman County and Henderson County for services through the Department of Public Safety for drug testing, approved the Kaufman County Commissioners Court rules of procedure, conduct and decorum for fiscal year 2019-2020, approved permission to solicit an annual contract for the county purchase of various road materials, hauling of materials and road projects, approved the receipt, transfer and disposal of county-owned assets, approved the purchase of a 2016 Gradall XL3100 from Kirby-Smith Machinery for precinct 4, and approved line item transfers and claims for payment.

The commissioners entered into executive session to consult with attorneys regarding pending or anticipated litigation regarding Winzer, Murphy, Lassiter and Lahkani, the Lily Solar Project, and the county engineer position. Following executive session, commissioner Phillips made the motion to approve the initiation of legal proceedings regarding the insurance of a TABC permit to Johnny Wyne. The commissioners unanimously approved the motion.

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