By Emily Banks Wooten
The Polk County Commissioners Court approved amending the agreement with Komatsu for courthouse architecture services to include design plans for a new roof during its regular meeting Tuesday.
According to County Judge Sydney Murphy, the existing courthouse roof was replaced in 2016 with a five-year warranty that is expired. The options included patching the roof at a cost of approximately $39,000 or replacing it with a new one at a cost of $270,000 with a 20-year warranty. The Court opted to get a new roof.
The courthouse is presently vacant and about to undergo an extensive historic restoration through the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program, a grant program administered through the Texas Historical Commission. All offices in the courthouse have been temporarily relocated to the former regional health center located at 410 E. Church Street.
A public hearing to receive comment on the county clerk’s preservation and records restoration plan for fiscal year 2023 was held, with no one providing comment. The plan was approved as part of the consent agenda. Notice of the hearing was published in the Sept. 25 issue of the Polk County Enterprise and a copy of the county clerk’s proposed plan may be viewed in the county clerk’s office located in the Polk County Judicial Center at 101 W. Mill St., Suite 265 in Livingston or on the county clerk’s page of the county website at www.co.polk.tx.us.
The Court took action relating to expenditures from the maintenance capital outlay buildings (budgeted funds), approving the purchase of a heat exchanger for the Polk County Jail. Murphy said the state inspector found one of the boilers completely down. The new heat exchanger will cost $14,734.
The county sick leave pool committee was selected by random drawing, with the following county employees being the names drawn: Thomas Foster, Danilo Baletka, Brandon White, Victoria Durr, and Rachel Hill.
The 2023 Polk County holiday schedule was approved. The following holidays will be observed: Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 16; President’s Day on Monday, Feb. 20; Good Friday on Friday, April 7; Memorial Day on Monday, May 29; Juneteenth on Monday, June 19; Independence Day on Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4; Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 4; Columbus/Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Monday, Oct. 9; Veterans Day on Friday, Nov. 10; Thanksgiving on Thursday, Nov. 23 and Friday, Nov. 24; Christmas on Monday, Dec. 25 and Tuesday, Dec. 26 and New Year’s Day on Monday, Jan. 1.
An agreement with Harley Portwood Ranch for the lease of Polk County school land in Throckmorton County was ratified by the Court.
In personnel matters, the Court reviewed personnel action form requests submitted since the last meeting and four authorized emergency hirings, including two in the district clerk’s office, one in the Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace office and one in human resources. An update to the personnel management system was also approved.
Fiscal year 2022 and fiscal year 2023 budget revisions and amendments, as presented by the county auditor’s office, were approved.
The Court presented a proclamation recognizing domestic violence awareness month.
Items on the consent agenda included:
Approval of the minutes of Sept 27 and Sept. 30 meetings;
Approval of the schedules of bills;
Approval of orders designating the regular terms for the county court at law and justice courts for fiscal year 2023;
Approval of the county clerk preservation and records restoration plan for fiscal year 2023 and set a county court records archive fee in the amount of $10, as reflected in the fiscal year 2023 adopted budget;
Approval of an order designating surplus property;
Approval of the donation of surplus property from emergency management to local independent school districts;
Receipt and recording of the listing of current members of the Polk County Safety Committee;
Approval of a resolution supporting the grant application to the Deep East Texas Council of Governments for the fiscal year 2023 regional solid waste program;
Approval of a leaseholder request to add Lela and Greg London as additional surface lease holders of Polk County school land currently in surface lease to Doris London and children;
Approval of an amendment to the lease agreement with Cooper Ranches LLC for Polk County school land in Throckmorton County, releasing a portion of the original lease agreement;
Approval and recording of governor’s bond and oath of office for tax assessor/collector for the term beginning Jan. 1, 2021;
Approval of a request from the treasurer to open a new bank account for local assistance and tribal consistency funds authorized in the American Rescue Plan Act; and
Approval of a renewal agreement with Gregory-Edwards for program maintenance of certain heating and HVAC equipment located at the county jail.
Pastor Wayne Bickley of Soda Baptist Church opened the meeting with prayer.