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063022 burn ban polk

But it’s not a fireworks ban

By Emily Banks Wooten
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During its regular meeting Tuesday, the Polk County Commissioners Court approved an order allowing a recent disaster declaration to continue. The county judge signed a local disaster declaration Junae 21 that included an order prohibiting outdoor burning for the unincorporated areas of the county due to dry weather conditions and threat of wildfire.

“Texas Forest Service has been in communication with us. We issued a seven-day disaster declaration on June 21 and the Court will need to vote whether to extend or retract that declaration at this time. I do want to make it very, very clear that this is not a fireworks ban, it is a burn ban,” County Judge Sydney Murphy said.

Commissioners took action regarding an expenditure from maintenance capital outlay buildings (budgeted funds) for a chiller for the adult probation department. “We’ve had ongoing issues but have found one for $39,000 that can be delivered and installed next week. We’ve got to get those people some air conditioning,” Murphy said. Commissioners approved the expenditure.

Murphy provided commissioners information regarding the request for bids for a used excavator with an option to trade in one used excavator for Precinct 1, to be paid from the Precinct 1 Road and Bridge fund balance and included on the fiscal year 2022 reimbursement resolution for the year-end issuance of legally authorized debt.

“Commissioner Robertson (Precinct 1 Commissioner Guylene Robertson who was absent from Tuesday’s meeting) received a bid from Hendrix Machinery for approximately $28,000 with trade-in. However, the purchase price without the trade-in is greater than the $50,000 and Hendrix Machinery is not yet a member of the purchasing cooperative so we are required to go through the bid process. So in order to have it included on this year’s debt, the tax notes sale is set for July 26 so we have to expedite the bid for advertising. It was advertised on June 23 and bids are due on July 7 for the Court’s approval on July 12. This way we can have the correct amount included for our debt.”

Commissioners also took action regarding whether to authorize a request for bids or proposals for the renovation of the Corrigan Sub-Courthouse building, to be paid from the general fund balance and included on the fiscal year 2023 reimbursement resolution for the year-end issuance of legally authorized debt.
“The Corrigan Sub-Courthouse is one of those buildings that’s kind of been on the long-term plan for when it needed to be renovated or approved. It needs some assistance,” Murphy said. “So on March 8 the Court approved a proposal from Z Design to provide a plan for improvements. The estimate that we received we need more information and the capability of looking and reviewing the information and get a clear understanding of what should and should not be in the construction build,” Murphy said. Commissioners approved advertising a request for proposals rather than a request for bids.

Due to the current vacancy in the environmental enforcement department, action was taken by commissioners to designate additional administrators for nuisance abatement procedures. When there is no environmental enforcement officer, the next in line will be the respective commissioner, followed by their first foreman and then their second foreman.

A committee met Monday to review and score the proposals received for disaster debris monitoring and consulting. Based on the committee’s recommendation, Commissioners approved the selection of Thompson Consulting Services as the primary and True North Emergency Management as the secondary.

Commissioners approved the transition of indigent prescription coverage from Script Care LTD to Integrated Prescription Management.

The application for Sunrise Subdivision, located in Precinct 2, was approved. Also approved was an order amending the Polk County Subdivision Regulations Appendix T regarding the retainer for engineer review and filing fees.

Following a discussion on options regarding the environmental enforcement and fire marshal departments and positions, Commissioners approved putting both departments in the emergency management department.

Commissioners approved the acceptance of the donation of labor, equipment and a portion of material from Hendrix Rentals LLC for improvements on Old Woodville Road in Precinct 4.

Commissioners approved moving forward with a survey and appraisal of Polk County school lands with the knowledge that when the leases come up, modifications will need to be made.

Commissioners reviewed personnel action form requests submitted since the last meeting, including one authorized emergency hiring in the human resources department. Commissioners also approved the fiscal year 2022 budget revisions and amendments as presented by the county auditor’s office.

Items on the consent agenda included:

  • Approval of minute of the June 14 meeting;
  • Approval of schedules of bills;
  • Approval of order designating surplus property;
  • Receipt of county auditor’s monthly report pursuant to Local Government Code Sec. 114.025;
  • Receipt of commissioners’ annual road reports pursuant to Texas Transportation Code Sec. 251.005;
  • Approval of hazard mitigation grant program match certification statement; and
  • Receipt of county treasurer’s monthly report for May of fiscal year 2022.
  • During informational reports, Murphy held up a copy of the June 26 Polk County Enterprise drawing everyone’s attention to the story on Maci Hill, the daughter of Chad and Mary Hill, whose National History Day documentary recently won first place in the nation, chosen as the best among 600,000 high school student entries. Murphy encouraged everyone to watch Hill’s documentary.
  • Murphy also mentioned that last Thursday was Precinct 4 Commissioner Tommy Overstreet’s last meeting as a member of the Board of Directors of the
  • Deep East Texas Council of Governments and she thanked him for always driving her to the meetings. She also recognized Brandon Prescott and commented what a wonderful job he is doing serving as Polk County’s minority representative on the board.
  • Lindell Mitchell of the Livingston Church of Christ opened the meeting with prayer.

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