Gray County Commissioners approve Keystone Project


John Lee

The Gray County Commissioners met on Tuesday morning for a regularly-scheduled meeting where they approved the much-anticipated Keystone Project to come to Pampa.

“We are excited to have Keystone coming into the community,” County Judge Chris Porter said. “Because it is outside of city limits and the Pampa Economic Development Corporation is guaranteeing them a forgivable loan, it has to be approved by the County Commission.”

The Commissioners unanimously approved the item.

The Commissioners declined an item which deferred payroll tax obligations to County employees.

“President (Donald) Trump gave the ability for employees to defer their payroll taxes until May 1,” Porter said. “What has happened is you’ve got people deferring payroll taxes, and there is a possibility they would leave before May 1. If they do the employer is hung for those taxes. We have the ability to approve or disapprove our employees to use the tax exemption.”

Porter further explained the exemption is basically nine percent of an employees pay, or their Social Security benefits.

“It comes up to be about $32/paycheck,” Porter said. “We’re not talking about a huge amount of money here but the County can’t afford, to pay the employees portion for leaving employment for a lot of employees.”

The County also approved the following items:

• Pay bills as approved by the County Auditor

• Line Item Transfers

• Budget Amendments

• County Treasurer’s Report

• County Clerk’s Report

• DBT Aviation Contract for Perry Lefors Airport. The contract is a five-year contract at the same cost as it was before.

• Engagement Letter for Dozier, Pickens and Francis, LLC. For FY 2020 County Audit

• Notice of General Election

• Bond for Logan Hudson

• Extending Disaster Declaration

• Commissioner 2 & 4 Continuing Education

The following items were tabled:

• Generator for Perry Lefors Airport through CARES Act Grant. The generator is being considered to be purchased through the CARES grant from Niccum Electric at no cost to the County. Porter expects the item to be on the next agenda.

• Request of Use for Motorbank at 301 N. Cuyler. This item was discussed in executive session as it is in a negotiation to lease the building.

• Dawson Geophysical for 3D Seismic Survey on GCSL. This item was tabled as the Commissioners Court is negotiating contracts and leasing for the Gaines County Land. They were negotiating with two different companies before COVID-19 hit and now one of the companies would like to do a Geophysical Seismic Survey and the Commissioners are considering whether or not they would like to do so.

• Request to State Legislature to Create Special Criminal District for Gray County.

The next Gray County Commissioners Court meeting will be on Thursday, Oct. 1.

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