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County to begin process off redistricting

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Polk County LogoBy Emily Banks Wooten
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Attorney Eric Magee discussed and reviewed the initial assessment of Polk County for the purposes of redistricting during the recent regular meeting of the Polk County Commissioners Court. To ensure equal representation, Magee said the county’s total population, 46,409, divided by four, 11,602, should be the population of each precinct. Of the four precincts, he said Precinct 1 grew the most, with a population of 13,721, and Precinct 3 shrunk the most, with a population of 10,164. Commissioners approved adopting the findings of fact regarding the political boundaries of Polk County, Texas and an order redistricting of county political boundaries.

A public hearing on the creation of a reinvestment zone to be known as Polk County Reinvestment Zone-Lone Spur for purposes of tax abatement to provide economic development within the county was held.

“This is a reinvestment zone of approximately 6,600 acres east of Lake Livingston State Park and south of the City of Livingston. It’s a solar project,” Magee said.

“I think it would be beneficial in a lot of different ways,” Bart Goldsmith said.

“I’ve been approached by some property-owners on the list who said they weren’t contacted,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Tommy Overstreet said. “Those people in the project zone were contacted,” County Judge Sydney Murphy said.

Following close of the public hearing, commissioners approved creation of the reinvestment zone and also approved adoption of a tax abatement agreement with Lone Spur Solar Energy LLC.

Several agreements for medical and mental health services at the Polk County Jail were approved. Dr. Raymond Luna will provide medical director services, Ann Luna Winston will provide after-hours inmate medical services and Serenity House Counseling PLLC will provide inmate mental health services.

A proposed agreement from Net Data for justice of the peace case management, real vision imaging, integrated credit card payment system, iticket DPS citation download and GHS collections management was approved.

Modifications to the Polk County subdivision regulations were approved and action regarding Rolling Pines Subdivision Section 1 located in Precinct 2 was approved.

Commissioners approved the nomination of Paul David Evans, by resolution, for the Polk Central Appraisal District Board for the 2021-2022 term.

The regular commissioners court session set for 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12 was rescheduled to 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 8 due to the court’s attendance at the County Judges and Commissioners Association Conference in Round Rock.

Commissioners approved authorizing Goodwin-Lasiter-Strong to advertise for construction bids on the Texas Department of Agriculture fiscal year 2020 Dallardsville/Segno WSC Plant improvements.

Action regarding the request for proposals #2021-20 for the school lands lease was approved.

Commissioners approved personnel actions form requests submitted since the last meeting and reviewed two authorized emergency hirings, one at the sheriff’s office and one at the jail.

Fiscal Year 2021 budget revisions #2021-19 and amendments #2021-19(A), as presented by the county auditor’s office, were approved.

Offers to purchase tax foreclosed properties, specifically Lots 36, 37 and 38 in Block 11 in Section 2 of Cedar Point in Precinct 2, were approved.

Following a public hearing to receive public comment on the county and district clerks’ preservation and restoration plans for fiscal year 2022 which yielded no comments, Commissioners approved the plans.

The Polk County Historical Commission was recognized and presented the Texas Historical Commission Distinguished Service Award.

Commissioners approved the following items that were on the consent agenda:

Minutes of the Sept. 14 regular meeting;

Schedules of bills;

Order designating surplus property;

County Auditor Louis Ploth’s monthly report, pursuant to Local Government Code Sec . 114.025;

Order setting juror reimbursement for fiscal year 2022;

Order designating regular terms of commissioners court for fiscal year 2022;

Order setting terms of the constitutional county court;

Adoption of resolution expressing intent to reimburse certain fiscal year 2022 expenditures (capital purchases) to be incurred by Polk County, Texas (reimbursement resolution);

District clerk preservation and restoration records plan for fiscal year 2022 and set district court records archive fee in the amount of $10, as reflected in the fiscal year 2022 adopted budget;

County clerk preservation and restoration records plan for fiscal year 2022 and set county court records archive fee in the amount of $10, as reflected in the fiscal year 2022 adopted budget;

Receive and record the district judges’ order of reappointment and oath of Louis Ploth as county auditor for Polk County effective September 18;

Approve request from Precinct 1 Constable Scott Hughes for asset forfeiture expenditure of seized property not to exceed $47,800 for purchase of law enforcement vehicle and $1,480.93 for travel/training;

Approve six-month renewal of memorandum of understanding with Precinct 1 constable regarding monthly salary of Beau Price to be funded solely from Precinct 1 constable asset seizures;

Approve request from District Attorney Lee Hon for asset forfeiture expenditure of seized property not to exceed $1,676 for publication of legal documents;

Accept donations provided to the fire marshal for fire prevention education;

Approve use of $29,980 from maintenance capital outlay buildings (budgeted funds) to replace roof at Corrigan food pantry;

Approve use of $3,044.39 from justice court building security fund balance to install walk-through metal detector at Precinct 2 justice of the peace office;

Approve revision of order authorizing and assigning space in county-owned buildings; and

Approve revisions to animal control ordinance regarding legislated changes in fees.

Joshua Carney, pastor of the First United Pentecostal Church of Livingston, opened the meeting with prayer.

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