By Emily Banks Wooten
Action regarding the agreement between Polk County and Union Pacific Railroad Company for the closure and removal of public crossings on McCarty Road (Frank Drive) and Glover Road, located in Precinct 3, was approved by the Polk County Commissioners Court during its regular meeting Tuesday.
“The agreement that we have states that the county desires to permanently close and remove the public crossings on McCarty Road (Frank Drive) and Glover Road. Per this agreement, Union Pacific will pay Polk County $360,625 once the two crossings have been closed,” County Judge Sydney Murphy said. “The proposed agreement was received prior to receiving bids and the lowest bid that we received was in the amount of $642,717 which does not include the additional fees for GLS for engineering services in the amount of $28,720 so the total cost for the project is $671,437. $200,000 of that will come from TxDOT, $100,000 for each railroad crossing. Commissioner Purvis (Precinct 3 Commissioner Milt Purvis) has agreed to continue negotiating with Union Pacific to increase their commitment because the original agreement was that they would reimburse the county.”
The Court approved a request for a capital purchase to be paid from the general fund
balance and included on the fiscal year 2024 reimbursement resolution for the year-end issuance of legally authorized debt, specifically, an STS360 upgrade of the video surveillance and access control at the judicial center, not to exceed $229,800.
A request from Precinct 3 Commissioner Milt Purvis for agreement and conditions of employment for new employees of the Polk County Road and Bridge offices to enroll in a commercial driver training course, to be funded by the road and bridge travel/training budget, was approved.
The Court approved an interlocal agreement with Trinity River Authority for law enforcement services.
Prepositioned contracts for emergency disaster debris removal, reduction, disposal and other debris-related services were approved pending legal review. “On July 25, the Court selected KDF Enterprises to be the primary contractor and DRC Emergency Services to be secondary. Courtney (Emergency Management Coordinator Courtney Comstock) has asked that we go ahead and move forward with approving them,” Murphy said.
The Court approved advertising a request for qualifications for demolition services for the General Land Office Hurricane Harvey buyout/acquisition program.
A resolution in support of Operation Green Light for veterans was approved. The purpose of Operation Green Light is to raise awareness and express gratitude by changing one light bulb to green, inside or out, at homes and businesses.
The Court approved accepting all regarding the re-bid for #2024-02.01 - 02.09, Precinct 2 annual bids.
A request to cancel a portion of Falcone Forest Subdivision Section 1, Lot 9 (removing lot), located in Precinct 4, and re-plat the same as Falcone Forest, Section 1, Lots 9A and 9B, was approved.
Offers to purchase the following tax foreclosed properties were approved: Lots 35 thru 38, Block 2, Thunder Mountain, Cause #T21-0223 in Precinct 1 and JNO Dickerson Survey, Abstract 211, .139 acre, Cause #T10-163 in Precinct 3.
In personnel matters, the Court approved a personnel management system update, reviewed personnel action form requests submitted since the last meeting and reviewed six authorized emergency hirings – three at the jail, one at the sheriff’s office and two in maintenance. Additionally, the county sick leave pool committee was selected by random drawing. Those selected include Dana Murphy, Gary Wright, Ethan Placker, Lisa Alexander and Robert Ferguson. Backups were also selected. The backups will be Tracy Yeager, Kenneth Powell, Nathan Davis, Madison Cain and Kathy Watson.
The Court entered into an executive session to deliberate personnel and upon return to open session, approved giving department heads a raise.
Fiscal year 2023 budget revisions and amendments as presented by the county auditor’s office were approved.
In old business, the Court will consider nominations, by resolution, for the Polk Central Appraisal District board members for the 2024-2025 term, naming Steven Hullihen to replace Leslie Burk.
Items on the consent agenda included:
Approval of the minutes of the previous meeting;
Approval of the schedules of bills;
Approval of an order designating surplus property;
Receipt of the county auditor’s monthly report, pursuant to local government code
Approval of an order designating the regular terms of commissioners court for fiscal year 2024;
Approval of an order setting terms of the constitutional county court;
Adoption of a resolution expressing intent to reimburse certain fiscal year 2024 expenditures (capital purchases) to be incurred by Polk County, Texas (reimbursement resolution);
Approval of a resolution in support of fiscal year 2024 indigent defense formula grant
Receipt of the county treasurer’s monthly report for August 2023; and
Approval of an agreement with certified payments for credit card processing in the county treasurer’s office.
Lynn Huff of the Onalaska Church of Christ opened the meeting with prayer.