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County terminates landfill gas contract

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Polk County LogoFrom Enterprise Staff

The Polk County Commissioners Court approved sending a notice of termination to Santek Environmental Services of Texas LLC for the collection, management and marketing of the county’s landfill gas during its March 14 regular meeting.

“Republic Services is the current operator of the Polk County Landfill and Citizen Collection Stations, having bought out Santek in 2021. Since taking over the contract, Republic has made some substantial improvements and overall, we’ve been satisfied with the transition,” County Judge Sydney Murphy said. “However, we have been contacted multiple times by other companies that collect and manage and market landfill gas. Landfill gas rights were added to the original agreement with Santek in an addendum in 2010 which gave Santek sole rights to the landfill gas.

“There are multiple things that happened with Santek,” Murphy continued. “The first thing was that they never notified the Court that they had sold their contract to Republic. They notified us after it had already happened and the contract very clearly specified that we were to get first option and that they had to notify us prior to selling the contract. So they did not do that, but since nobody was dissatisfied with the progress and the improvements that Republic had made, that did not get challenged. However, when Republic started reviewing the contract, Santek had kept the addendum. So, what we wish to do is cancel the addendum with Santek and clear that up so that the county can move forward with looking at what our options are for capturing the gas and selling it.

“This will do two things. It will help us clean up the environment out there and it will create revenue for the county,” Murphy said.

The Court approved a request for approval of a certificate of exemption to exempt from county subdivision regulations the development of Abstract 397 Maria Lindsey Survey (76.942 acres) located in Precinct 4 and consisting of seven tracts, all over 10 acres, with access to existing public road and no other common areas or streets.

In personnel matters, the Court reviewed and approved personnel action form requests submitted since the last meeting and reviewed two authorized emergency hirings, one in the district attorney’s office and one in the district clerk’s office. Also approved was an update to the personnel management system.

During the portion of the meeting reserved for informational reports, the Court presented a proclamation to representatives of the Polk County Branch of the American Red Cross and was apprised of the annual spring clean-up in Onalaska slated for April 15.

Additionally, Murphy apprised the Court that the Polk County Economic Development Corporation has agreed to participate in the county’s strategic planning and that a strategic planning guide has been formed, based on what has been found in other areas. She presented it to the commissioners for them to review and come back with suggestions of things to change, add or delete.

Items on the consent agenda included:

Approval of the minutes of the Feb. 28 regular meeting and emergency session;

Approval of the schedules of bills;

Approval of an order designating surplus property;

Approval of a proclamation designating April 2023 as Fair Housing Month in Polk County;

Issuance of a notice of intent to select county depository/ies for a four-year term (April 2023 to April 2027) with option to renew for an additional two-year term;

Approval of the 2023 renewal of Affordable Care Act Reporting and Tracking Service with Texas Association of Counties;

Approval of an application for the renewal of property insurance coverage through Texas Association of Counties Risk Management Pool;

Approval of an order accepting West Ridge Park and Stone Brook Drive in Four Corners Section 5 in Precinct 2 as county roads and add to master street address guide;

Acceptance of a total loss offer for 2017 Chevrolet Equinox and removal from county inventory as of Jan. 27, 2023;

Approval of a request from District Attorney Shelly Sitton for asset forfeiture expenditure not to exceed $2,400 for reimbursement of prosecutor moving expenses;

Ratification of approval of a non-terminal agreement between Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the district attorney’s office;

Authorization for Sitton to enter into non-terminal agreements with the Livingston, Corrigan, Onalaska and Alabama-Coushatta Police Departments, Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department;

Approval of Law Enforcement ISO Claimsearch Access memorandum of understanding between the district attorney’s office and the National Insurance Crime Bureau;

Approval of a resolution appointing directors to the Board of Directors of the IAH Public Facility Corporation;

Approval of a request from the Office of Emergency Management to submit a grant application to the General Land Office’s Local Hazard Mitigation Plans Program; and

Acceptance of an award of FEMA Public Assistance Grant 4485 funds in the amount of $175,714 for the reimbursement of COVID-related expenditures.

Rev. Joel McMahon of First Methodist Church of Livingston opened the meeting with prayer.


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