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Groveton Times - Local News

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Annual audit results presented to Commissioners' Court


By Chris Edwards

GROVETON – Trinity County received a clean audit for fiscal year 2016, according to the report given by CPA Kim Johnson. Johnson presented her findings at Monday morning's meeting of the Trinity County Commissioners' Court. Overall, she said, the county's assets "are roughly the same" as they were in the previous fiscal year cycle. Johnson said that in her audit, she discovered an overall decrease in revenue. This was due, she said, to a decrease in grant monies received by the county. Johnson noted that overall net revenues were greater than expenses by about $190,000, and that overall fund balances are all positive and devoid of deficits. One item Johnson pointed out to the commissioners was a significant jump in pension liability, from 279 in 2015 to 781 in 2016, which she said was "something to look at." Johnson said that collection of fees and fines, as well as property taxes, was up from the previous year. Some discussion was made about the current method of tracking JP court fines in terms of the software utilized. County Auditor Bonnie Kennedy outlined the process of implementation, and said that a newer version of the software will be up and running in June. With a motion from Precinct 1 Commissioner Grover "Tiger" Worsham and a second by Precinct 3 Commissioner Neal Smith, the audit for fiscal year 2016 went approved. Downtown Groveton Improvements grant County Judge Doug Page presented a resolution to support the downtown Groveton improvements project grant application. Groveton Mayor Byron Richards spoke to the commissioners and Judge Page about some of the planned improvements, and thanked the county officials for their support. Mayor Richards said that throughout the last 10 years, the City of Groveton was able to implement more capital and infrastructure projects than it had in 70 years. He said that in that time period, about $30 million has gone into various projects to benefit the city. If the grant application is successful, improvements to the downtown district will provide improved access and safety for pedestrians to access businesses and governmental offices in that part of the city. The grant, which will be filed with the Texas Department of Agriculture for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), will be for the amount of $650,000. Elder Abuse Prevention Month Judge Page read aloud a proclamation to declare May as Elder Abuse Prevention/Awareness Month. The proclamation contained facts about investigations of elder abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation in Trinity County. The number of cases that county Adult Protective Services workers completed in 2016 was 102, with 94 cases of abuse confirmed. Bridget Sandles of APS was on hand to talk about the problem with elder abuse. She said that in her opinion, the loneliness and isolation of many elderly citizens is worse than physical abuse or neglect. Sandles spoke in particular about how modern technology is making it easier for criminals to prey on elderly victims and bilk them out of their savings. Other business Commissioners also voted to approve, or discussed the following items during Monday morning's meeting: • The approval of a committee to review county storage locations for government records retention, and the organization of records. County Auditor and Records Management Officer Bonnie Kennedy addressed the court on the matter, and said that overstocked storage areas have been problematic. • Judge Page informed the court that the budget process for fiscal year 2018 will begin the week of May 15. • A review and discussion of ongoing and pending environmental cases within Trinity County, as presented by county environmental officer Carl O. Dyer. • Precinct 3 Commissioner Rich Chamberlin gave updates and information on grant-related projects, including updates on FEMA grant-funded projects


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