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Luke (rt) and his good friend Larry Weishuhn are both in their mid seventies and still enjoying the great outdoors, maybe more now than ever! Photo by Luke Clayton
April 16, 2024


Category: Outdoor Life Author: Super User
Luke (rt) and his good friend Larry Weishuhn are both in their mid seventies and still enjoying the great outdoors, maybe more now than ever! Photo by Luke ClaytonThere was a time back when I was in my twenties and thirties that I thought I would be hanging…
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April 13, 2024

Close-to-home fun

Category: Outdoor Life Author: Super User
As an outdoors writer for the past 39 years, I’ve become accustomed to “gallavanting” around the country fishing, hunting and collecting material for my articles. Lately though, I’ve been sticking pretty close to home. Kenneth Shephard with a good “eater…

County auditor’s office recognized for achievement

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Polk County LogoBy Emily Banks Wooten
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A certificate of achievement from the Government Finance Officers Association for excellence in financial reporting was presented to the Polk County Auditor’s Office during the regular meeting of the Polk County Commissioners Court Tuesday. County Auditor Louis Ploth accepted the award on behalf of his office.

The certificate is for the county’s annual comprehensive financial report for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2022, which was judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program. It is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.

“I do have to say that we do have an excellent auditor. One of the things that I appreciate the most about you is you do have an idea of being a team person instead of me, me, me,” County Judge Sydney Murphy said to Ploth as she presented the certificate to him.

A public hearing was on the agenda to receive public comment on a request to cancel a portion of Ridge Lake Estates Subdivision Phase 1, Lots 125, 127, 129, 131, 133, 146, 146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155 and 156 (removing lots) and re-plat the same as Ridge Lake Estate, Phase 1, Partial Replat No. 1, Lots 1, 2, 3 and 4. Following the public hearing, the Court was going to consider action on the request. However, during the hearing, a property owner inquired what effect, if any, this would have on her as she had not received any information from the developer. In light of the information, the Court opted to cancel the hearing until more information may be received. Additionally, action on the request was tabled.

Having received three bids for the construction contract for the Providence Water Supply Corporation ground storage tank and associated work, the Court approved the recommended bid from Duplechain Contractors LLC of $515,927.50 which is within the construction price of $552,000. The county had previously approved the 75/25 match and the Polk County portion will be paid with American Rescue Plan Act funds.

A request from District Attorney Shelly Sitton to apply for rural law enforcement grants – of which her office is eligible for $275,000 – was approved.

Acceptance of the bid from Martin Chevrolet was approved for the purchase of two vehicles for Precinct 4 Road and Bridge.

The Court approved closing Old Swarthout Road, located in Precinct 1. “Old Swarthout Road is essentially an old trail that is located entirely on 10.667 acres owned by a single landowner located north of FM 1988,” Murphy said. “Once FM 1988 was built in approximately 1953, there was no need for public access to Old Swarthout Road and we do not have any records that the road was ever officially adopted by the county as a public access road. However, the owner of the property has requested it be officially closed.”

Regarding something that Murphy described as “an interesting set of circumstances,” the Court also took action regarding Washington Cemetery. When the land was purchased to build the sheriff’s office it included the cemetery and now some descendants want to have a family cemetery and have filed paperwork to become an official organization for the management of the family’s cemetery.

“The cemetery has some historical significance and we do want it to remain intact, but we need to get it out from being the responsibility of the county or the sheriff,” Murphy said. The Court approved having a survey done, creating access and putting up a fence to delineate exactly where the boundaries are.

In personnel matters, the Court approved personnel action form requests submitted by department heads since the last meeting.

Items on the consent agenda included:

•Approval of the minutes of the Dec. 22 regular meeting;

•Approval of the schedules of bills;

•Approval of an order designating surplus property;

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

•Approval to file claim with state comptroller, pursuant to Government Code Sec. 61.0015(B) for reimbursement of a portion of the juror fees paid by Polk County during the period from Oct. 1, 2023 through Dec. 31, 2023;

•Approval of fiscal year 2024 contract extension 23-1000824-2 (Oct. 1, 2023 through Sept. 30, 2024) between the Polk County Aging Department and Deep East Texas Council of Governments for Older American Act Program (congregate and home-delivered meals);

•Approval of revised permit fee schedule;

•Receipt of a certificate of project completion from Longroad Energy Holdings LLC for the Umbriel solar tax abatement agreement dated Nov. 10, 2020; and

•Approval of a Precinct 4 Road and Bridge expense of $6,980 to move the water line on Darden Road at Bluff Creek, necessary for the replacement of the off-system bridge by Texas Department of Transportation.

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

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