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Polk County LogoBy Emily Banks Wooten
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A public hearing to receive comment on a request to cancel a portion of Cedar Point Subdivision, Section 1, Block 11, Lots 30-32 (removing lots) and replat the same as for Cedar Point, Section 1, Block 11, Block 1, Lot 1 drew comments from one individual during the regular meeting of the Polk County Commissioners Court Friday. Due to the Court’s attendance at the V.G. Young Institute of County Government School for Commissioners Courts in Bryan next week, its Feb. 22 meeting was rescheduled to Friday.

“In general, we’re very much in favor of this individual building a house but we think the methodology is incorrect,” Cedar Point Developer Charles Von Schmidt told the Court. “There’s been over a hundred homes built in the last two years and 42 under construction right now and none of them have gone through this process. The reason that they didn’t is our deed restrictions.

“We have the ability to do this without doing a replat and tying up the Court’s time. Under our deed restrictions, you can combine two or more lots or divide a lot as long as you end up with a resulting lot that’s 45 feet or greater. It erases all the lines. So this process is unnecessary,” Von Schmidt said.

Upon close of the public hearing, Commissioners approved denying and tabling the request for now to allow the property owners’ association and the property owner to come to some kind of agreement.

Regarding an emergency addendum to Friday’s agenda, Commissioners considered action to begin the procurement process to select an administrator and an engineer for pre-award and post-award consulting services to prepare the FEMA hazard mitigation grant application DR-4485 for a hazard mitigation project.

“The water infrastructure committee has been gathering data for a while and collaborating with the engineer and grant administrator to determine what the best use would be of our ARPA funds. Generators are listed as a high priority item,” County Judge Sydney Murphy said.

“It was brought to our attention that we might want to consider applying for the FEMA COVID-19 hazard mitigation grants because it lists generators as an eligible use of the funds and then if this grant is awarded to the county then we do not have to use our ARPA monies for generators but will still be able to provide the service to these water companies,” Murphy said.

“Our engineer, Pat Oates, is currently reviewing all the data that we’ve gathered from the water supply companies and will help prioritize the projects,” Murphy said.

In related activity, Commissioners approved the selection of GLS and Langford Community Management Services for the engineer and grant administrator and also approved the appointment of a scoring committee for the purpose of reviewing and rating the proposals and qualifications received.

Commissioners approved a budget amendment not to exceed $218,000 for the purchase of a Mowermax boom mower from the Precinct 3 Road and Bridge fund balance. The exact cost of the piece of equipment is $217,664.41.

A discretionary exemption to the Polk County Subdivision Regulations for a 6.258-acre tract, I&GN RR Section 62 Abstract 650, located in Precinct 4, was approved.

In personnel matters, the Court approved personnel action form requests submitted since the last meeting. The Court also approved a sheriff’s request for a temporary pay increase for staff at the Polk County Jail.

“We have done this in the past to alleviate some of the staff shortages and the inmate overcrowding that has occurred at the jail which was significantly impacted by the COVID pandemic so what we would like to do is give them temporary premium pay and the jail budget because they have been short-staffed has some unexpended monies and we could match that, those monies, with COVID funds,” Murphy said.

The following items on the consent agenda were approved:

Minutes of the Feb. 8 meeting;

The schedule of bills;

An order designating surplus property;

The county auditor’s monthly report, pursuant to Local Government Code Sec. 114.025;

Receipt of the sheriff’s department’s 2021 racial profiling report;

An amendment to the contract between Tyler Technologies and the district clerk;

A request from Precinct 1 Constable Scott Hughes for an asset forfeiture expenditure of seized property not to exceed $763.52 for reimbursement to Beau Price for the purchase of supplies; and

An interlocal agreement between Polk County and the City of Livingston for the county’s provision of election equipment and services for the May 7 election as recommended by the county clerk.

Simon Gellar of LifeVine Church opened the meeting with prayer.

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