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County to explore potential implementation of employee, jail health clinic

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Polk County LogoBy Emily Banks Wooten
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During its regular meeting Tuesday, the Polk County Commissioners Court approved looking into the implementation of an employee and jail health clinic.

County Judge Sydney Murphy said there was an article in a recent issue of County Progress, the magazine of the Texas Association of Counties, about the one that Chambers County implemented. Murphy went to Chambers County and visited with them to see if it is something in which Polk County might be interested.

“They’re saying the savings outweighs the expenditures by 50% with reduction in claims and sick time and increased productivity,” Murphy said.

The county presently contracts with a doctor and a nurse practitioner for the jail and also contracts with a doctor who provides employee physicals.

“Expanding the services to employees, their dependents, potentially county retirees, is worth taking a look at and seeing how the jail might benefit, and indigent health would be a huge savings and benefits retention for job satisfaction. We have approximately 300 employees, approximately 100 retirees and approximately 200 inmates so there are enough potential patients to sustain it,” Murphy said.

A revised interlocal cooperation agreement between Polk County and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service was approved. In related activity, the Court approved a request to add a 30- by 60-foot building at the 4-H shooting range, to be funded by Texas A&M AgriLife at no cost to the county. The pavilion-structure will allow the 4-H students to get out of the weather during their shooting events and will provide a place to feed them as well.

Regarding Bid No. 2024.14 for the purchase of one vehicle for Precinct 3 Road and Bridge, to be funded by the American Rescue Plan Act funds, the Court approved the low bid which was from Martin Chevrolet for $46,671.20.

A request to add a carport to the Precinct 3 maintenance complex, to be funded by the Corrigan Food Pantry, was approved. Construction of the awning is being donated and will provide shelter from the sun and/or rain for both the people giving and receiving the food at no cost to the county.

A proposal in the amount of $7,200 from The Write Direction for redrafting the personnel management system policy books was approved. The decision was overdue, with the last overhaul having been conducted in 1991. The proposal will include content development, professional formatting and assurance that the system is in compliance with state and federal regulations.

The Court approved the Precinct 1 Road and Bridge purchase of a 2024 Holland track loader from George P. Bane with a five-year term and net capitalized price of $156,034.27.

Updates to the policies regarding the use of county buildings, grounds and facilities were approved. The proposed changes will broaden the restrictions.

The Court approved authorization of applications for the fiscal year 2025 state and local cybersecurity grant program for mitigation and workplace development. As a 10% match is required if approved, the Court approved not exceeding $25,000 for its part.

Personnel action form requests submitted by department heads since the last meeting were approved, as were fiscal year 2024 budget revisions and amendments, as presented by the county auditor’s office.

Items on the consent agenda included:

•Approval of the minutes of the Feb. 27 regular meeting;

•Approval of the schedules of bills;

•Approval of an order designating surplus property;

Approval of an order designating waste property;

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

•Approval of a proclamation designating April 2024 as Fair Housing Month in Polk County

•Approval of the 2024 renewal of Affordable Care Act Reporting and Tracking Service (ARTS) program with Texas Association of Counties;

•Approval of an application for renewal of property insurance coverage through Texas Association of Counties risk management pool; and

•Recording of the commercial driver’s license agreement and conditions of employment, as requested by Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Dubose, to be paid out of Precinct 2 Road and Bridge travel/training expenses.

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

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