By Emily Banks Wooten
The Polk County Commissioners Court was apprised of an $18,250 grant that’s been received by Polk County Recovers during the informational reports section of the Court’s regular meeting Tuesday. Polk County Recovers is the county’s Long-Term Recovery Group (LTRG), and the grant funds are earmarked for Winter Storm Uri repairs.
An LTRG is a cooperative body that is made up of representatives and volunteers from faith-based, nonprofit, government, business and other organizations working within a community to assist individuals and families in their recovery after a disaster such as hurricanes or tornados.
“Our board that we appointed is wonderful. They are all very proactive,” Polk County Veterans Service Officer Melissa Gates, the county’s liaison for Polk County Recovers, said. Gates added that the grant funds were donated by Saint Bernard Parrish and that she has a couple of additional funding opportunities coming up soon.
County Judge Sydney Murphy commented that this funding came about through partnership with a nonprofit. An additional item on Tuesday’s agenda also illustrated the benefits of forming partnerships.
Commissioners approved a memorandum of understanding with Keep Texas Beautiful for the purpose of increasing the amount of recyclable #1 plastic (polyethylene terephthalate, or PET) collected at the recycling center.
“The volunteers have received a second baler for plastics,” Murphy said. “This is another example of a partnership. The recycling center opened Nov. 4 and, in that time, we’ve received funding in the amount of $40,000, two balers, a forklift, grants and volunteers. I can’t think of a better example of taxpayers figuring out what they want and what they’re willing to commit.”
Although the Court was to consider a request from Republic Services to initiate an exact change policy at the Citizen Collection Stations effective May 1, the item was deleted for the time being as the parties involved were unable to attend the meeting due to weather conditions.
Action related to application for the hazard mitigation grant program to update the multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation plan for emergency management was discussed and approved. According to Murphy, there is a 25% local match requirement but there is an additional grant that can be applied for that, if received, covers the match. She recommended that the Court apply for both, which they approved doing.
The Court approved the procurement of appraisal services for the Polk County Community Development Block Grant Program Voluntary Buyout Program GLO Contract #20-066-018-C125. Murphy explained that participation in this program allows the purchase of vulnerable properties that were damaged by Hurricane Harvey. Commissioners approved Jordan Appraisal to provide appraisal services and Scott Stephens to provide appraisal review services.
Commissioners were slated to consider the approval, upon conditions met, or the rejection of several subdivisions. They approved waiving the construction bond and allocating the maintenance bond for Rolling Pines, Section 2, Block 2 Subdivision, located in Precinct 2. They voted to reject Caney Pines Subdivision, located in Precinct 3, until the plat is received. They approved, upon conditions met, Royal Livingston Subdivision, located in Precinct 4.
Commissioners approved an order authorizing the sale of fireworks during the San Jacinto Day period of April 16 through midnight April 21.
A request for a waiver from the five-foot interval requirement on the topographic map for Hunter’s Ridge Subdivision, located in Precinct 2, was approved.
The Court approved requests for capital purchases to be paid from the general fund balance and included on the FY 2022 reimbursement resolution for the year-end issuance of legally authorized debt as follows: the purchase of a new scanner, not to exceed $1,000, for the Precinct 1 justice of the peace office and the purchase of security equipment, not to exceed $1,830.63, for the 411th Judicial District.
Although the Court was expected to discuss and consider approval of an interlocal agreement between Polk County and the Texas Department of Public Safety for a permanent commercial driver’s license facility in Polk County, the item was deleted from the agenda and will be brought back later.
Commissioners approved personnel action form requests submitted since the last meeting and also approved FY2022 budget revisions and amendments as presented by the county auditor’s office.
The following items on the consent agenda were approved:
Minutes of the March 8 regular meeting;
Schedules of bills;
An order designating surplus property;
The county auditor’s monthly report, pursuant to Local Government Code Sec. 114.025;
A proclamation designating April 2022 as Fair Housing Month in Polk County;
A request from Precinct 1 Constable Scott Hughes for asset forfeiture expenditure of seized property not to exceed $3,000 for annual furnished transportation expenses and $1,000 for annual communications expenses;
A request from Precinct 1 Constable Scott Hughes for asset forfeiture expenditure of seized property not to exceed $872.11 for reimbursement to Beau Price for travel expenses;
An order of special election to be held on May 7;
An update to the Master Street Address Guide;
An agreement with Texas Association of Counties for website services for the Office of Emergency Management; and
A resolution authorizing the submission of a hazard mitigation grant program application for the purchase and installation of emergency back-up generators at eligible public water supply facilities in the unincorporated areas of Polk County.
Col. Howard Daniel, pastor of Chesswood Baptist Church, opened the meeting with prayer.