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Polk County News - Breakout

North end of county to get communications tower

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CommTower landscape

By Emily Banks Wooten
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During its regular meeting Tuesday, the Polk County Commissioners Court approved erecting a 440-foot interoperable communications tower and running fiber cabling in Precinct 3, a project that will be funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.

“Everybody knows that the north end of the county is a giant black hole when it comes to the internet,” County Judge Sydney Murphy said. “We met with DETCOG and Motorola and looked at the property and it was deemed suitable.”

Regarding the Polk County Peace Officers Association’s continued use of county property, specifically the building and gun range located in Moscow, Commissioners approved assigning the property to the sheriff’s office and continuing to make it available for law enforcement training.

Based on the recommendation from Nick Hoelscher with Goodwin Lassiter Strong, Commissioners approved Alternate Bid No. 2 regarding the Texas Department of Agriculture fiscal year 2020 Dallardsville Segno Water Supply Corporation Plant improvements, Contract No. 73220361. Alternate Bid No. 2 involves rehabilitating the existing tank and building a 60,000-gallon bolted tank for a total cost of $280,150.

Commissioners approved the transfer of two patrol units from the sheriff’s office to the Precinct 4 constable’s office.

The purchase of supplemental budget management software was approved. The annual fee of $15,600 will be pro-rated this year to $9,100 and the $3,600 setup fee will be waived. The software was necessitated by “significant glitches” in the Excel spreadsheets, Murphy said.

A request from the county auditor to purchase a new check printer, not to exceed $1,106, to be paid from the general fund balance and included on the fiscal year 2022 reimbursement resolution for the year-end issuance of legally authorized debt was approved.

Commissioners also approved capital outlay building expense (budgeted funds) for a sewer line repair, including the extraction and replacement of old cast iron and clay pipes at the Polk County Office Annex in the amount of $16,500 and a chiller repair at the Polk County Jail in the amount of $22,832.31.

The plat of Falcone Forest, Section 3 Subdivision, located in Precinct 4, was approved.

Commissioners received a nuisance abatement hearing determination for Cause No. A00494 and approved an order to abate the nuisance.

An order authorizing the sale of fireworks during the Texas Independence Day period of Feb. 25 through midnight on March 2 was approved.

Offers to purchase the following tax foreclosure properties were approved: Lot 25 of Allen Woods, Cause No. T12-004 and Lot 32 of Block 3 of Yaupon Cove, Cause No. T11-462, both in Precinct 2.

In personnel matters, Commissioners approved personnel action form requests submitted since the last meeting and were apprised of two authorized emergency hirings, one at the sheriff’s office and one at the jail.

Commissioners also approved the sheriff’s request to pay out all jail staff FLSA compensatory and lost vacation and straight compensatory time from Oct. 1, 2021 to Feb. 13, 2022.

Fiscal year 2022 budget revisions and amendments, as presented by the county auditor’s office, were approved.

Items on the consent agenda were approved, including:

• Minutes of the Jan. 25 meeting;

• The schedule of bills;

• An addition to list relating to use of county inmate labor for civic purposes, pursuant to Article 43.10 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure;

• Extension of lease agreements with University of Texas Medical Branch for Suites B and C located in the Polk County Regional Health Center;

• Bonds for assistant county auditors;

• An update to the master street address guide;

• The county treasurer’s fiscal year 2022 first quarter report;

• An amendment to fiscal year 2022 budget adopted by the Polk Central Appraisal District on April 20, 2021; and

• An interlocal agreement between Polk County and the City of Onalaska for the county’s provision of electric equipment and services for the May 7 election, as recommended by the county clerk.

Polk County Maintenance Superintendent Jay Burks opened the meeting with prayer.

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City to order May 7 election, discuss unsafe buildings

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City of Livingston logoSeveral items of business relating to the May 7 General Election are on the agenda for the next meeting of the Livingston City Council at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Council is expected to consider an order of election to elect one mayor and two council members on May 7. The positions that will be on the ballot include those presently held by Mayor Judy B. Cochran and Aldermen Marion A. “Bid” Smith and Alan Cook. A proposed resolution establishing procedures for the election will be considered, as will a proposed interlocal agreement with Polk County for the use of county-owned voting and election equipment, election supplies and election services.

Public hearings will be held on the determination of unsafe and/or dilapidated buildings on two locations. Following the public hearings, Council will discuss and consider possible action on a final order on the determination of the unsafe and/or dilapidated buildings. These include:

• The abandoned building located at 510 First St. in Livingston and being located on a called 0.309 of an acre of land in the M.L. Choate Survey, A-15, being all of Lot 11 and parts of Lots 12 and 13, Block 2 of the J.S. Holleman Addition, described in a deed dated Jan. 8, 2015 from Bob M. Wheeler and wife, Shavada L. Lyons to Leonard W. Perkey and wife, Jeanette Perkey recorded in Volume 1980, Page 794 of the Official Public Records of Polk County, Texas; and

• The abandoned building located at 522 W. Church St. in Livingston and being situated on a called 100-by-75-foot tract of land situated in the M.L. Choate Survey, A-15, Polk County, as described in a deed dated May 20, 1996 from Kathleen Squyres Garner and Townie M. Squyres to Fred Jarrell, recorded in Volume 1017, Pages 055 et seq. of the Official Public Records of Polk County.

Council will discuss and consider possible action on a proposed resolution in support of the application by Ridgecrest Inn Apartments LTD to TDHCA for 2022 housing tax credits for the rehabilitation of the existing Ridgecrest Inn Apartments at 901 Forest Hollow.

Additions and amendments to the City of Livingston’s police department policy will be discussed and considered for approval.

The Livingston Police Department’s 2021 racial profiling report will be submitted in accordance with Article 2.134(b) of the Texas Criminal Code of Procedure.

The city’s electrical permit fees will be discussed and considered for approval.

Council may enter into an executive session to consult with the city attorney. However, any action will be taken upon return to open session.

City Manager Bill S. Wiggins will present his monthly report.

Other items on the agenda include approval of accounts over $500 and minutes of the Jan. 11 meeting.

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Communications tower, fiber cabling on agenda

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Polk County LogoThe Polk County Commissioners Court will consider approval to erect an interoperable communications tower and run fiber cabling in Precinct 3 during its regular meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday. The project would be funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.

Commissioners are expected to discuss and consider available options for the Polk County Peace Officers Association’s continued use of county property, specifically the building and gun range, located in Moscow.

A request from the county auditor to purchase a new check printer, not to exceed $1,106, to be paid from the general fund balance and included on the fiscal year 2022 reimbursement resolution for the year-end issuance of legally authorized debt will be considered.

Additionally, Commissioners are expected to consider approval of capital outlay building expense (budgeted funds) for a sewer line repair, including the extraction and replacement of old cast iron and clay pipes at the Polk County Office Annex in the amount of $16,500 and a chiller repair at the Polk County Jail in the amount of $22,832.31.

Approval of a plat of Falcone Forest, Section 3 Subdivision, located in Precinct 4, will be considered.

Commissioners are expected to receive a nuisance abatement hearing determination for Cause No. A00494 and consider an order to abate the nuisance.

An order authorizing the sale of fireworks during the Texas Independence Day period of Feb. 25 through midnight on March 2 will be considered for approval.

Commissioners will discuss, consider bid and take action on the Texas Department of Agriculture fiscal year 2020 Dallardsville Segno Water Supply Corporation Plant improvements, Contract No. 73220361.

Commissioners will also consider approval to transfer two patrol units from the sheriff’s office to the Precinct 4 constable’s office.

Supplemental budget management software will be discussed and considered.

Offers to purchase the following tax foreclosure properties will be considered: Lot 25 of Allen Woods, Cause No. T12-004 and Lot 32 of Block 3 of Yaupon Cove, Cause No. T11-462, both in Precinct 2.

In personnel matters, Commissioners will review and consider personnel action form requests submitted since the last meeting and any authorized emergency hirings. Commissioners will also discuss and consider the sheriff’s request to pay out all jail staff FLSA compensatory and lost vacation and straight compensatory time from Oct. 1, 2021 to Feb. 13, 2022.

Commissioners will consider approval of fiscal year 2022 budget revisions and amendments, as presented by the county auditor’s office.

Items on the consent agenda include:

Approval of the minutes of the Jan. 25 meeting;

Approval of the schedule of bills;

Approval of addition to list relating to use of county inmate labor for civic purposes, pursuant to Article 43.10 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure;

Approval of extension of lease agreements with University of Texas Medical Branch for Suites B and C located in the Polk County Regional Health Center;

Approval of bonds for assistant county auditors;

Approval of update to the master street address guide;

Receive county treasurer’s fiscal year 2022 first quarter report;

Receive amendment to fiscal year 2022 budget adopted by the Polk Central Appraisal District on April 20, 2021; and

Approval of interlocal agreement between Polk County and the City of Onalaska for the county’s provision of electric equipment and services for the May 7 election, as recommended by the county clerk.

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Firefighters to be recognized

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FiremanBadgeC0708 V v C YPlaques will be presented to the Onalaska Fireman of the Year and the fireman with the most calls during the regular meeting of the Onalaska City Council at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Council is expected to review and consider approval of police department policy 2.8 regarding the use of social media.

Amendments to a couple of ordinances related to the May 7 General Election that were approved during the January meeting will be reviewed and considered for approval.

Reports will be presented on behalf of the police department, fire department, fire marshal/building inspector, library and city administrator.

Other items on the agenda include approval of the minutes, vouchers and financial reports.

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