Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette Grayson County Judge Executive Kevin Henderson, middle, hears testimony during Tuesday's meeting of the Grayson County Fiscal Court, alongside Grayson County Clerk Charlotte Willis, left, and Grayson County Treasurer Angel Hayes.

Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette

Grayson County Judge Executive Kevin Henderson, middle, hears testimony during Tuesday's meeting of the Grayson County Fiscal Court, alongside Grayson County Clerk Charlotte Willis, left, and Grayson County Treasurer Angel Hayes.

After months of discussions on the matter, the Grayson County Fiscal Court took action this week on whether to pass a county-wide smoking ordinance.

During the court's regular meeting on Tuesday afternoon, magistrates voted down one ordinance that would have prohibited smoking, vaping, and the use of e-cigarettes inside all enclosed public places in the county that allow individuals under the age of 18 following its first reading.

3rd District Magistrate Tommy Higdon, who has supported a smoking ordinance from its early stages, said more of his constituents have expressed that they would support banning smoking inside public places than permitting it.

5th District Magistrate Brian Ashley, on the other hand, said he had heard from constituents that most would prefer not to be told what they can and cannot do in their businesses.

Following the first reading of the ordinance to prohibit smoking, vaping, and e-cigarette use in enclosed public places permitting individuals under age 18, the ordinance was voted down by a three-to-two vote, with 2nd District Magistrate Darin Whitely, 4th District Magistrate Damon Hornback, and Ashley voting against it and Higdon and 6th District Magistrate Neil Saltsman voting in favor of it.

1st District Magistrate Robby Higdon was not in attendance at Tuesday's meeting.

Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center CEO Wayne Meriwether, who has pushed for a county-wide smoking ordinance for the past several years, said he would have liked to see the first reading of the ordinance approved so the county could have had the opportunity to read it in full before its second and final reading.

Grayson County Judge Executive Kevin Henderson said that, while the ordinance failed, the county could move forward with one to prohibit smoking inside county-owned and operated buildings, and the first reading of this ordinance was held Tuesday afternoon, as well.

The first reading of this ordinance was approved on a four-to-one vote, with Whitely, Tommy Higdon, Ashley, and Saltsman all voting in favor of it and Hornback voting against it.

The second and final reading of this ordinance is expected to be held at the next fiscal court meeting, after which it may be adopted and put into effect.

In other business, the fiscal court:

*Approved the first reading of the county budget for Fiscal Year 2019-2020.

The budget includes $3,568,760 for the general fund; $4,311,850 for the road fund; $13,486,000 for the Grayson County Detention Center fund; $238,704 for the Local Government Economic Assistance (LGEA) fund; and $673,505 for the E-911 fund. This brings the total budgeted funds for 2019-2020 to $22,278,819.

The budget will be adopted pending the approval of its second reading at an upcoming fiscal court meeting.

*Accepted a bid from C & F Realty & Auction to provide auctioneering services to sell four parcels of county-owned land. The bid will include a 10 percent buyer's premium, which will be returned to the county following the sale of the properties. C&F will charge 4 percent of the gross sale price, and its bid includes a $2,500 advertising budget.

Whitely, Tommy Higdon, Ashley, and Saltsman all voted in favor of hiring C & F, and Hornback abstained from voting because he knows all of the firms who bid for this service.