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North end of county to get communications tower

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CommTower landscape

By Emily Banks Wooten
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During its regular meeting Tuesday, the Polk County Commissioners Court approved erecting a 440-foot interoperable communications tower and running fiber cabling in Precinct 3, a project that will be funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.

“Everybody knows that the north end of the county is a giant black hole when it comes to the internet,” County Judge Sydney Murphy said. “We met with DETCOG and Motorola and looked at the property and it was deemed suitable.”

Regarding the Polk County Peace Officers Association’s continued use of county property, specifically the building and gun range located in Moscow, Commissioners approved assigning the property to the sheriff’s office and continuing to make it available for law enforcement training.

Based on the recommendation from Nick Hoelscher with Goodwin Lassiter Strong, Commissioners approved Alternate Bid No. 2 regarding the Texas Department of Agriculture fiscal year 2020 Dallardsville Segno Water Supply Corporation Plant improvements, Contract No. 73220361. Alternate Bid No. 2 involves rehabilitating the existing tank and building a 60,000-gallon bolted tank for a total cost of $280,150.

Commissioners approved the transfer of two patrol units from the sheriff’s office to the Precinct 4 constable’s office.

The purchase of supplemental budget management software was approved. The annual fee of $15,600 will be pro-rated this year to $9,100 and the $3,600 setup fee will be waived. The software was necessitated by “significant glitches” in the Excel spreadsheets, Murphy said.

A request from the county auditor to purchase a new check printer, not to exceed $1,106, to be paid from the general fund balance and included on the fiscal year 2022 reimbursement resolution for the year-end issuance of legally authorized debt was approved.

Commissioners also approved capital outlay building expense (budgeted funds) for a sewer line repair, including the extraction and replacement of old cast iron and clay pipes at the Polk County Office Annex in the amount of $16,500 and a chiller repair at the Polk County Jail in the amount of $22,832.31.

The plat of Falcone Forest, Section 3 Subdivision, located in Precinct 4, was approved.

Commissioners received a nuisance abatement hearing determination for Cause No. A00494 and approved an order to abate the nuisance.

An order authorizing the sale of fireworks during the Texas Independence Day period of Feb. 25 through midnight on March 2 was approved.

Offers to purchase the following tax foreclosure properties were approved: Lot 25 of Allen Woods, Cause No. T12-004 and Lot 32 of Block 3 of Yaupon Cove, Cause No. T11-462, both in Precinct 2.

In personnel matters, Commissioners approved personnel action form requests submitted since the last meeting and were apprised of two authorized emergency hirings, one at the sheriff’s office and one at the jail.

Commissioners also approved the sheriff’s request to pay out all jail staff FLSA compensatory and lost vacation and straight compensatory time from Oct. 1, 2021 to Feb. 13, 2022.

Fiscal year 2022 budget revisions and amendments, as presented by the county auditor’s office, were approved.

Items on the consent agenda were approved, including:

• Minutes of the Jan. 25 meeting;

• The schedule of bills;

• An addition to list relating to use of county inmate labor for civic purposes, pursuant to Article 43.10 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure;

• Extension of lease agreements with University of Texas Medical Branch for Suites B and C located in the Polk County Regional Health Center;

• Bonds for assistant county auditors;

• An update to the master street address guide;

• The county treasurer’s fiscal year 2022 first quarter report;

• An amendment to fiscal year 2022 budget adopted by the Polk Central Appraisal District on April 20, 2021; and

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

Polk County Maintenance Superintendent Jay Burks opened the meeting with prayer.

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