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County ratifies commerce center lease with Lamar

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Polk County LogoBy Emily Banks Wooten
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During its regular meeting Tuesday, the Polk County Commissioners Court ratified approval of the sublease of the county building housing Lamar College at the Polk County Commerce Center.

“The Polk County Commerce Center Shelter is a county-owned building that was funded through EDA grants and private donations raised by the Polk County Higher Education & Technology Foundation. The Court previously designated the foundation to manage the facility and the sublease agreement was originally with Angelina College. Angelina College wanted to do something different so we set out terms for Lamar College operations through the foundation and so now we’re ratifying that agreement since the property actually belongs to the county,” County Judge Sydney Murphy said.

The Court took necessary action for the Polk County CDBG-DR Voluntary Buyout Program GLO Contract No. 20-066-018-C125. Specifically, they accepted the qualifications from R&L, JWTC, Sitek Omni, Albo and DSW and requested bids for the provision of professional home demolition services. Additionally, they approved the advance payment, pursuant to Uniform Relocation Assistance Regulation 49 CFR Sec. 24.404 (C), in the amount of $58,205.28 for eligible relocation entitlement, to be reimbursed by the General Land Office.

An offer to purchase tax foreclosure property, 1.44 acres in the Henry Hare Survey Abstract 325 Tract 8 Cause No. T15-035 located in Precinct 4, was approved.

Although the Court was slated to receive a report from the Sexual Assault Response Team as required by Local Government Code Chapter 351, the item was tabled until the next meeting.

In personnel matters, the Court reviewed and considered personnel action form requests submitted by department heads since the last meeting and approved paying out equivalent comp and FLSA comp hours earned by jail staff as of Nov. 19, 2023, as requested by Sheriff Byron Lyons, utilizing available funds from the jail salaries line item.

The Court also approved fiscal year 2024 budget revisions and amendments, as presented by the county auditor’s office.

In old business, the Court approved a request from Republic Services for changes modifying the hours of operation at the citizen collection stations.

During informational reports, Murphy reported on the General Land Office monies the county will receive as announced at the Deep East Texas Council of Governments Annual Luncheon on Nov. 21. “Jessica Hutchins and all of our grant coordinators did an excellent job. It’s pretty exciting times for Polk County that we are moving forward with this $17 million,” Murphy said.

Items on the consent agenda included:

Approval of the minutes of the Nov. 14 regular meeting and the Nov. 17 special called meeting;

Approval of the schedules of bills;

Approval of an order designating surplus property;

Receipt of the county auditor’s monthly report, pursuant to Local Government Code Sec. 114.025;

Receipt of and recording the personnel action forms submitted by elected officials since the last meeting;

Approval of an interlocal agreement renewing services with Harris County for postmortem examinations;

Ratification of an agreement between Polk County and Indian Springs, Livingston and Segno Volunteer Fire Departments for the donation of AED G3 trainers; and

Approval of an order renewing Polk County tax abatement criteria and guidelines for the two-year period beginning Dec. 11, 2023 and ending Dec. 10, 2025.

Lindell Mitchell with the Livingston Church of Christ opened the meeting with prayer.


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