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Polk County News - Breakout

City hears annual financial report

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City of Livingston logoFrom Enterprise Staff

The annual comprehensive financial report for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2022 was presented by Steve Palmerton and Kevin Bienvenu of Harper and Pearson Company P.C. during the March 14 regular meeting of the Livingston City Council.

Council approved a notice of termination of contract from Republic Services for the collection and disposal of solid waste and authorized city officials to advertise for proposals for the collection and disposal of solid waste. The city had had a contract since 2003 with Santek, which was later purchased by Republic Services, and felt that after 20 years, they needed to see what other options are available.

Council approved the appointment of Heather Weber as election judge for the May 6 general election.

The CenterPoint Energy acknowledgment of filing and review of 2023 Annual Gas Reliability Infrastructure Program interim rate adjustment to be effective May 1, 2023 was reviewed and discussed.

Council discussed and approved awarding both an administrative services contract and an engineering services contract for the preparation of the city’s  2023-2024 Texas Community Development Block Grant Program application and subsequent contracts if funded. The administrative services contract was awarded to Langford out of Liberty Hill and the engineering services contract was awarded to Brannon Corporation out of Tyler.

Council approved calling a show cause hearing regarding property located at 106 N. East Ave. owned by Joseph McCandless and Manda Kay McCandless. Additionally, Council called a public hearing on the determination of unsafe and/or dilapidated buildings at the same address and set it for April 11.

During his monthly update on projects and events, City Manager Bill S. Wiggins reported on several upcoming events, including:

The Livingston Farmers & Artisan Market will be held at Anniversary Park on the first and third Saturday of each month.

The Trinity-Neches Livestock Show is slated for March 27-31 at Barney Wiggins Memorial Park.

The city’s Easter Eggstravaganza will be April 1 at Pedigo Park with Easter bunny pictures starting at 9:30 a.m. and the egg hunt starting at 11 a.m.

The Dunbar Alumni Association will host Sheriff Byron Lyons Day on April 22.

Wiggins also reported that the March sales tax report from the state comptroller for the month of January reflected $404,934.84, an increase of 16.77% over January 2022.

Other business included approval of the minutes of the Feb. 14 regular meeting and payment of accounts over $500.


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County terminates landfill gas contract

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Polk County LogoFrom Enterprise Staff

The Polk County Commissioners Court approved sending a notice of termination to Santek Environmental Services of Texas LLC for the collection, management and marketing of the county’s landfill gas during its March 14 regular meeting.

“Republic Services is the current operator of the Polk County Landfill and Citizen Collection Stations, having bought out Santek in 2021. Since taking over the contract, Republic has made some substantial improvements and overall, we’ve been satisfied with the transition,” County Judge Sydney Murphy said. “However, we have been contacted multiple times by other companies that collect and manage and market landfill gas. Landfill gas rights were added to the original agreement with Santek in an addendum in 2010 which gave Santek sole rights to the landfill gas.

“There are multiple things that happened with Santek,” Murphy continued. “The first thing was that they never notified the Court that they had sold their contract to Republic. They notified us after it had already happened and the contract very clearly specified that we were to get first option and that they had to notify us prior to selling the contract. So they did not do that, but since nobody was dissatisfied with the progress and the improvements that Republic had made, that did not get challenged. However, when Republic started reviewing the contract, Santek had kept the addendum. So, what we wish to do is cancel the addendum with Santek and clear that up so that the county can move forward with looking at what our options are for capturing the gas and selling it.

“This will do two things. It will help us clean up the environment out there and it will create revenue for the county,” Murphy said.

The Court approved a request for approval of a certificate of exemption to exempt from county subdivision regulations the development of Abstract 397 Maria Lindsey Survey (76.942 acres) located in Precinct 4 and consisting of seven tracts, all over 10 acres, with access to existing public road and no other common areas or streets.

In personnel matters, the Court reviewed and approved personnel action form requests submitted since the last meeting and reviewed two authorized emergency hirings, one in the district attorney’s office and one in the district clerk’s office. Also approved was an update to the personnel management system.

During the portion of the meeting reserved for informational reports, the Court presented a proclamation to representatives of the Polk County Branch of the American Red Cross and was apprised of the annual spring clean-up in Onalaska slated for April 15.

Additionally, Murphy apprised the Court that the Polk County Economic Development Corporation has agreed to participate in the county’s strategic planning and that a strategic planning guide has been formed, based on what has been found in other areas. She presented it to the commissioners for them to review and come back with suggestions of things to change, add or delete.

Items on the consent agenda included:

Approval of the minutes of the Feb. 28 regular meeting and emergency session;

Approval of the schedules of bills;

Approval of an order designating surplus property;

Approval of a proclamation designating April 2023 as Fair Housing Month in Polk County;

Issuance of a notice of intent to select county depository/ies for a four-year term (April 2023 to April 2027) with option to renew for an additional two-year term;

Approval of the 2023 renewal of Affordable Care Act Reporting and Tracking Service with Texas Association of Counties;

Approval of an application for the renewal of property insurance coverage through Texas Association of Counties Risk Management Pool;

Approval of an order accepting West Ridge Park and Stone Brook Drive in Four Corners Section 5 in Precinct 2 as county roads and add to master street address guide;

Acceptance of a total loss offer for 2017 Chevrolet Equinox and removal from county inventory as of Jan. 27, 2023;

Approval of a request from District Attorney Shelly Sitton for asset forfeiture expenditure not to exceed $2,400 for reimbursement of prosecutor moving expenses;

Ratification of approval of a non-terminal agreement between Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the district attorney’s office;

Authorization for Sitton to enter into non-terminal agreements with the Livingston, Corrigan, Onalaska and Alabama-Coushatta Police Departments, Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department;

Approval of Law Enforcement ISO Claimsearch Access memorandum of understanding between the district attorney’s office and the National Insurance Crime Bureau;

Approval of a resolution appointing directors to the Board of Directors of the IAH Public Facility Corporation;

Approval of a request from the Office of Emergency Management to submit a grant application to the General Land Office’s Local Hazard Mitigation Plans Program; and

Acceptance of an award of FEMA Public Assistance Grant 4485 funds in the amount of $175,714 for the reimbursement of COVID-related expenditures.

Rev. Joel McMahon of First Methodist Church of Livingston opened the meeting with prayer.


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PCSO warns of scam

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PhoneScam Stock

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office has been made aware of a recent scam and would like to alarm the public. Citizens have been contacted, and the caller states they are with the sheriff’s office and have warrants. They are advising that the subject must pay them or they will be arrested.

Law enforcement will not contact anyone requesting payment for a warrant, nor will they take payments over the phone.

If you receive a call like this, it is a scam. Do not give out personal information or money. Instead, contact your local law enforcement if you receive this call.

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Polk County Leo Club holds charter night

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The Polk County Leo Club, a service club that is a Junior Lions Club, recently held its charter night and festivities. Many students were unable to attend due to school activities. Some of the charter members are: (l-r) Brady Smith, Peyton Smith, Lili Nelaj, Jaden Pike, Brooklyn Goins, Vanessa Hernandez, Ryan Worthington, Aileen Nguyen, Mark Shank and Addison Shank. Courtesy photoThe Polk County Leo Club, a service club that is a Junior Lions Club, recently held its charter night and festivities. Many students were unable to attend due to school activities. Some of the charter members are: (l-r) Brady Smith, Peyton Smith, Lili Nelaj, Jaden Pike, Brooklyn Goins, Vanessa Hernandez, Ryan Worthington, Aileen Nguyen, Mark Shank and Addison Shank. Courtesy photo

From Enterprise Staff

The Polk County Leo Club recently held its charter night at First Baptist Church. The club is a service club that is a Junior Lions Club. It is sponsored by the Livingston Lions Club and is joining the club in service to the Polk County communities.

The charter night was filled with festivities in honor of the original members of the club. The Jr. ROTC opened the meeting by presenting the flags and singing the National Anthem. The Leo Sponsor and Lion Amy Shank opened the meeting, welcoming all Lions and family and friends of the Leos who were present.

Past District Governor Lion Daniel Shank installed the officers and inducted the members of the club. Past District Governor Lion Ken Jobe of the Woodville Lions Club gave a speech filled with information about the Leo Clubs and the Texas Lions Camp for children with special needs. Each original member in attendance got to sign the charter for the club.

Past District Governor and Sponsor Bobbie Fagan recognized those that have already given 20-plus and 30-plus hours of community service before the charter, gave closing remarks and thanked all those who attended.

The club is made up of youth from Polk County that are 12-18 years old. It is open to home schoolers, Christian schoolers and students from any school in Polk County.

The students have already begun serving the community by holding canned good drives, blanket drives, decorating doors and singing Christmas carols to Timberwood Nursing Home patients, working Trunks for Treats for the Greater Onalaska Lions Club, working the Polk County Youth Rodeo, working the District 2-S1 Convention for the Livingston Lions Club and working Polk County Clean Up Day.

They are looking for opportunities to serve the community. For information on becoming a member or receiving help from the club, contact Fagan at 936-967-0740 for additional information.

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SKYWARN storm spotter training available

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From Enterprise Staff

Mark your calendars. SKYWARN is a free storm spotter training opportunity that will be available from 6-8 p.m. March 22 at the Dunbar Gym located at 1103 Dunbar Ave. in Livingston.

SKYWARN is a volunteer program with nearly 400,000 trained severe weather spotters. These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.

Attendees should expect to learn:

•Basics of thunderstorm development

•Fundamentals of storm structure

•Identifying potential severe weather features

What information to report

•How to report information

•Basic severe weather safety

The training opportunity is free and will be hosted by the Polk County Office of Emergency Management. To register for the training, visit the Polk County Emergency Management website at www.polkcountyoem.com.

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