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Polk County News - Breakout

City to review budget

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080722 city review budget

The preliminary budget for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 will be presented to the Livingston City Council for review during its regular meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Council is slated to call a public hearing on the budget to be set for Sept. 13.

Council is slated to discuss and consider action on proposed ordinances amending Article II of Chapter 40, regarding electric service, and Article I of Chapter 34, regarding solid waste, of the Code of Ordinances.

The annual review and amendment of the City of Livingston investment policy will be conducted.

A proposed resolution accepting a deed from Sam Rayburn Municipal Power Agency conveying two electrical substations is also on the agenda.

An executive session is also on the agenda at which time Council is expected to consult with the city attorney and deliberate the employment or appointment of an employee. However, any action will be taken upon return to open session.

Council is slated to recognize Livingston Main Street as a 2022 Accredited Program by Main Street America and Texas Main Street.

Other items on the agenda include the city manager’s monthly report, accounts over $500 and minutes of the July 12 meeting.

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Selection of construction manager on agenda

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080711 construction manager

For courthouse restoration project

The Polk County Commissioners Court will consider any and all necessary action to select a construction manager for the two phases of the historic restoration of the Polk County Courthouse during its regular meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday. The first phase will be selective demolition and the second phase will be the restoration and rehabilitation project. The extensive historic restoration and ensuing construction is part of the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program, a grant program administered through the Texas Historical Commission.

The Court is slated to receive and record the district judges’ orders setting the FY2023 compensation for the county auditor, assistant auditors and 258th and 411th district court reporters, court coordinators, bailiffs and labor pool staff pursuant to Local Government Code.

Any changes to the FY2023 proposed budget will also be discussed.

A request from the City of Onalaska for the collection of their ad valorem taxes by the Polk County tax assessor-collector will be considered for approval, as will a prepositioned contract for disaster debris removal services with DRC Emergency Services.

Action regarding a request for proposals for rural internet connectivity to be funded by the American Rescue Plan Act funds will be considered.

A request from the Texas Department of Transportation for a special use project for the bridge replacement on Sunflower Road/County Road 1077 over Big Sandy Creek in Precinct 4 will be discussed and considered for action.

An interlocal agreement between the county and the Texas Department of Public Safety for a permanent commercial driver’s license facility in Polk County will be discussed and considered for approval.

The Court will also consider approval to advertise for the FY2023 annual bids.

In personnel matters the Court will review and consider personnel action form requests submitted since the last meeting and will review any authorized emergency hirings. Additionally, FY2022 budget revisions and amendments, as presented by the county auditor’s office, will be considered.

In old business, the Court is expected to discuss and consider award on the 2017 GLO DR 4332 (Harvey) Program, GLO Contract No. 20-065-018-C064.

During informational reports, Casey Lowrie, the county’s information technology and systems administrator, will be recognized for her reappointment to the Texas Association of Counties Information Technology Advisory Council for 2022-2023.

Additionally, Human Resources Director Amber Leloux will review the Texas County & District Retirement System plan assessment.

Items on the consent agenda include:

• Approval of the minutes of July 26 regular meeting;

• Approval of the schedules of bills;

• Approval of an update to the master street address guide;

• Approval to file a claim with the state comptroller, pursuant to Government Code Section 61.0015(B) for the reimbursement of a portion of the juror fees paid by Polk County during the period of April 1 through June 30;

• Ratification of an order authorizing a donation to Habitat for Humanity;

• Receipt of the treasurer’s FY2022 third quarter report;

• Approval of a request from the treasurer to open a new TexPool investment account for the American Rescue Plan Act funds;

• Approval of FY2023 budget for the contract with Texas Department of Family and Protective Services relating to Title IV-E Child Welfare Program;

• Ratification of a Statewide Automated Victim Notification Service (SAVN) FY2022 amendment; and

• Approval of the renewal of an agreement with Texas Document Solutions for printer/copier equipment services.

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Benefit account established

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080422 benefit account

To keep youth from being deported

By Emily Banks Wooten
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Heights Conservation, a 501(c)3 foundation dedicated to the preservation of green spaces and ecologies through educational scholarships and project sponsorships, has set up a dedicated account “For the Benefit of Daniil Rusanyuk” and has raised approximately $12,000. However, an additional $4,000 is needed by the end of this week.

Daniil came to Livingston last year as an exchange student at Livingston High School. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in the spring, Daniil’s family was forced to flee their homes in Kyiv. His father has since returned to Kyiv and is serving in the city’s defense. His mother is currently a refugee in Italy. His parents are displaced, unemployed and completely without resources.

Although Daniil remains here in Livingston with his host family, he is facing imminent deportation. If he is returned to Ukraine, he will be conscripted, and forced to fight in the war. Several people and organizations are working to get Daniil into college and protect him from deportation.

For Daniil to stay in the United States and go to college with an F-1 student visa, he must demonstrate financial resources (i.e., a dedicated account, managed for his sole benefit) of approximately $18,000. Raising that much money for Daniil’s student visa has been a challenge. Daniil is actively pursuing scholarship opportunities with several universities, along with conventional types of financial aid. However, most scholarships are awarded 10-12 months prior to college enrollment. Because Russia invaded Ukraine just five months ago, the vast majority of scholarship and financial aid sources are already exhausted.

However, there is the existence of a much more achievable path. In April of this year, Daniil filed for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), under 87 CFR §23211. With TPS status, Daniil could enroll in any university without having to demonstrate $18,000 in dedicated resources. More importantly, TPS status would protect him from deportation which could be a virtual death sentence.

Approval of Daniil’s application for TPS status would relieve him from the financial burden of an F-1 student visa. However, Daniil has had no response of any kind from USCIS.

Lone Star College has offered Daniil a full ride (all tuition, books, and health insurance) but does not have student housing. Work is underway with Lone Star to find a faculty member to host him, as the Lone Star College faculty is very active in hosting international students. Raising the additional $4,000 by the end of the week will be sufficient for Lone Star College to file his F-1 application.

Anyone donating through this account will get a tax deduction receipt. For information regarding the account email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Daniil’s desire is to stay in the states and earn a college degree in construction management so that he may ultimately return home and help rebuild his country.

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PCPC newspapers earn awards

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080422 ChrisEmilyTony

At Texas Press Association Convention

From Enterprise Staff

Polk County Publishing Company received 26 awards, six of which were first place, in the 2020-2021 Texas Better Newspaper Contest during the 142nd annual Texas Press Association (TPA) Convention and Trade Show June 28-30 in San Marcos. This year, 80 newspapers submitted 850 entries in the contest.

Publisher Kelli Barnes, Polk County Enterprise Editor Emily Banks Wooten, Tony Farkas, editor of the Trinity County News-Standard and the San Jacinto News-Times, and Chris Edwards, editor of the Tyler County Booster and the Houston County Courier, attended the convention and trade show, participating in numerous informative sessions on current industry topics.

The Polk County Enterprise, in Division 3, won first place awards for headline writing and news writing, second place for sports coverage, second place for best magazine, third place for feature writing, fourth place for column writing and fourth place for general excellence.

The Tyler County Booster, in Division 7, won first place for advertising and second place for feature writing, third place for headline writing, third place for feature photography and third place for column writing.

The Houston County Courier, in Division 6, received a third place for sports photography, a third place for news writing, a fourth place for headline writing and a fourth place for feature writing.

The Trinity County News-Standard, in Division 8, won first place in both headline writing and news photography, a second place in column writing, a third place in general excellence and a fourth place in sports coverage.

The San Jacinto News-Times, in Division 9, won first place for headline writing, third place for feature photography, fourth place for column writing, fourth place for sports photography and fourth place for general excellence.

Four individuals were inducted into the Texas Newspaper Foundation’s Texas Newspaper Hall of Fame for exemplary service to their communities and to the Texas newspaper industry. These included: Robert Moore, Greg Shrader, Ed Sterling and George Dolan, posthumously.
Nonnie Barton, of The Fayette County Record, and Mary Henkel Judson, of the Port Aransas South Jetty, were honored with TPA’s Golden 50 Award which honors men and women who have displayed exemplary service and selfless contributions to journalism for 50 or more years.
Next year’s convention and trade show is slated for June 1-3 at the Kalahari Resort in Round Rock.

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Parents urged to register LISD students

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080422 .lisd registrationParents urged to register LISD studentsCourtesy photo

By Brian Besch
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All Livingston ISD students, both new and returning, need to register for the 2022-23 school year before attending classes.

Registration opened in May for returning Livingston ISD students and takes about 15 minutes to complete the process. Required are uploading a current driver’s license, current electric bill to verify residency, and completing the required online forms.

LISD staff worked through the summer with three employees dedicated to supporting parents in this process. A minimum of 10 registration notifications have been sent to ease the process on the first day of school.

As of Monday evening, there were 2,485 students enrolled out of an expected 4,086 for the 2022-23 school year. The first day of school for Livingston ISD is Monday and students not registered by that time will likely be delayed in receiving a class schedule.

“As in the past, the district requires student registration prior to the release of a class schedule for secondary students or a teacher assignment for students attending the primary or elementary campuses,” LISD Superintendent Dr. Brent Hawkins said. “This greatly aids in the safety protocols for the district, ensuring an orderly first day of class.”

To register, go online to livingstonisd.com and click the yellow box. Forms may be filled out online, or could be emailed or dropped off at the campus. Bus information and a link for frequently asked questions can also be found on the page.

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