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Commissioners eye policy updates

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Polk County LogoBy Emily Banks Wooten
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Updates to numerous policies were on the agenda for the regular meeting of the Polk County Commissioners Court Tuesday. The Court approved a grant policies and procedure manual drafted by County Auditor Louis Ploth that will be submitted to the governor’s office for approval. Action on a new purchasing and credit card policy was tabled when a commissioner requested additional time to study it.

With the Department of Labor and the Texas Association of Counties both finding the county’s personnel management system “overly cumbersome and confusing,” the Court approved researching the matter and reviewing what other counties have in an attempt to streamline its own policies regarding time accrual and leave classifications.

The Court approved authorizing the sale of fireworks during the Texas Independence Day period of Feb. 25 through midnight March 2.

An amendment to the tax abatement agreement between Polk County and Lone Spur Solar Energy LLC was approved.

The Court approved an expenditure from the maintenance capital outlay buildings (budgeted funds) for replacement of a water circulating pump at the Dunbar Complex, not to exceed $15,000.

Resolutions for the Texas Department of Transportation off-system bridge replacement program were approved. The two bridge projects are Wilson Lake Estates Road at West Fort for Double Branch Creek and Andrew Jackson at Menard Creek, both in Precinct 4.

A request from the sheriff for two zero-turn lawnmowers was approved, with the Court accepting the bid from Livingston Lawn and Garden based on the sheriff’s recommendation.

The Court also approved the sheriff’s office using a $30,000 donation it received to purchase a flock system license plate reader.

A request from Precinct 2 for up to four additional reserve deputy constable positions was approved, at no cost to the county other than workers comp.

In personnel matters, the Court approved personnel management system updates and personnel action form requests submitted since the last meeting and learned of one authorized emergency hire in human resources.

Fiscal year 2024 budget revisions and amendments, as presented by the county auditor’s office, were approved.

Items on the consent agenda included:

Approval of the minutes of the Jan. 23 regular session;

Approval of the schedules of bills;

Approval of an order designating surplus property;

Approval of an agreement with Texas Association of Counties for email, web hosting and cybersecurity training;

Approval of an interlocal agreement between Polk County and the City of Onalaska for the county’s provision of election equipment and services for the May 4 election, as recommended by the county clerk;

Approval of the replacement of the camera system at Precinct 1 Road & Bridge Office in the amount of $5,980 to be paid from Precinct 1 and authorize initial payment of $3,580 for equipment;

Approval of a “no harm” agreement between Polk County and Blanchard Baptist Church (Voting Precinct 17);

Ratifying Amendment No. 4 to General Land Office Contract No. 20-066-018-C125;

Approval of an interlocal cooperation contract with Texas Department of Public Safety driver license division for the failure to appear program; and

Approval of an amended order authorizing the closure of former road known as Old Swartwout Road.

Pastor Sonny Hathaway of Central Baptist Church opened the meeting with prayer.

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