5 things you should know from Montgomery County Commissioners Court, March 28

Several initiatives were approved during the Montgomery County Commissioners Court meeting Tuesday morning. Here is what you need to know:

County commissioners approved an increase in its homestead exemption from 10 percent to 20 percent after an approximate $28 million revenue loss that would be offset by projected increases in property tax revenue next year and some budget cuts. The 10 percent exemption accounted for a $14 million revenue loss.

The court approved $15,000 in funding from precincts 2 and 4, $25,000 from Precinct 1 and $5,000 from Precinct 3 to create a new veterans memorial park in Conroe. Funds would also be used to dismantle the existing Veterans War Memorial Park at the intersection of San Jacinto and Davis streets in Conroe. The original motion was for $15,000 from each precinct, but Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack opted to donate $5,000 with a promise to raise funds for the remaining $10,000. Precinct 1 Commissioner Mike Meador opted to increase his precinct's contribution to offset Noack's $10,000 shortfall.

Commissioners appointed Larry Foerster and Dorothy Woodall to the Montgomery County Ethics Committee following a discussion about the criteria for suitable candidates and the potential conflicts of appointing former county employees. Commissioners also approved candidate appointments from other designated departments.

Commissioners approved the county's fiscal year 2017-18 budget packet to assist county departments in completing budget requests. This year, the county's budget review committee has requested for departments to prepare a budget identifying the department's true needs and a second budget that maintains current funding levels.

Commissioners voted to allow the Montgomery County Animal Shelter to set the animal adoption fee at a rate of up to $80 and to waive or reduce other associated fees as necessary. Shelter Director Charles Jackson said the flexibility will improve adoption rates. He added that it gives the shelter the ability to facilitate more animal adoptions by reducing the cost for clients at times when the shelter is overcrowded rather than needing to euthanize an increased number of animals.