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Polk County News - Breakout

Court approves new roof for courthouse

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By Emily Banks Wooten
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The Polk County Commissioners Court approved amending the agreement with Komatsu for courthouse architecture services to include design plans for a new roof during its regular meeting Tuesday.

According to County Judge Sydney Murphy, the existing courthouse roof was replaced in 2016 with a five-year warranty that is expired. The options included patching the roof at a cost of approximately $39,000 or replacing it with a new one at a cost of $270,000 with a 20-year warranty. The Court opted to get a new roof.

The courthouse is presently vacant and about to undergo an extensive historic restoration through the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program, a grant program administered through the Texas Historical Commission. All offices in the courthouse have been temporarily relocated to the former regional health center located at 410 E. Church Street.

A public hearing to receive comment on the county clerk’s preservation and records restoration plan for fiscal year 2023 was held, with no one providing comment. The plan was approved as part of the consent agenda. Notice of the hearing was published in the Sept. 25 issue of the Polk County Enterprise and a copy of the county clerk’s proposed plan may be viewed in the county clerk’s office located in the Polk County Judicial Center at 101 W. Mill St., Suite 265 in Livingston or on the county clerk’s page of the county website at www.co.polk.tx.us.

The Court took action relating to expenditures from the maintenance capital outlay buildings (budgeted funds), approving the purchase of a heat exchanger for the Polk County Jail. Murphy said the state inspector found one of the boilers completely down. The new heat exchanger will cost $14,734.

The county sick leave pool committee was selected by random drawing, with the following county employees being the names drawn: Thomas Foster, Danilo Baletka, Brandon White, Victoria Durr, and Rachel Hill.

The 2023 Polk County holiday schedule was approved. The following holidays will be observed: Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 16; President’s Day on Monday, Feb. 20; Good Friday on Friday, April 7; Memorial Day on Monday, May 29; Juneteenth on Monday, June 19; Independence Day on Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4; Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 4; Columbus/Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Monday, Oct. 9; Veterans Day on Friday, Nov. 10; Thanksgiving on Thursday, Nov. 23 and Friday, Nov. 24; Christmas on Monday, Dec. 25 and Tuesday, Dec. 26 and New Year’s Day on Monday, Jan. 1.

An agreement with Harley Portwood Ranch for the lease of Polk County school land in Throckmorton County was ratified by the Court.

In personnel matters, the Court reviewed personnel action form requests submitted since the last meeting and four authorized emergency hirings, including two in the district clerk’s office, one in the Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace office and one in human resources. An update to the personnel management system was also approved.

Fiscal year 2022 and fiscal year 2023 budget revisions and amendments, as presented by the county auditor’s office, were approved.

The Court presented a proclamation recognizing domestic violence awareness month.

Items on the consent agenda included:

Approval of the minutes of Sept 27 and Sept. 30 meetings;

Approval of the schedules of bills;

Approval of orders designating the regular terms for the county court at law and justice courts for fiscal year 2023;

Approval of the county clerk preservation and records restoration plan for fiscal year 2023 and set a county court records archive fee in the amount of $10, as reflected in the fiscal year 2023 adopted budget;

Approval of an order designating surplus property;

Approval of the donation of surplus property from emergency management to local independent school districts;

Receipt and recording of the listing of current members of the Polk County Safety Committee;

Approval of a resolution supporting the grant application to the Deep East Texas Council of Governments for the fiscal year 2023 regional solid waste program;

Approval of a leaseholder request to add Lela and Greg London as additional surface lease holders of Polk County school land currently in surface lease to Doris London and children;

Approval of an amendment to the lease agreement with Cooper Ranches LLC for Polk County school land in Throckmorton County, releasing a portion of the original lease agreement;

Approval and recording of governor’s bond and oath of office for tax assessor/collector for the term beginning Jan. 1, 2021;

Approval of a request from the treasurer to open a new bank account for local assistance and tribal consistency funds authorized in the American Rescue Plan Act; and

Approval of a renewal agreement with Gregory-Edwards for program maintenance of certain heating and HVAC equipment located at the county jail.

Pastor Wayne Bickley of Soda Baptist Church opened the meeting with prayer.

 

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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH

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The Polk County Commissioners Court presented a proclamation recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness Month during its regular meeting Tuesday. (l-r) Precinct 1 Commissioner Guylene Robertson, Precinct 4 Commissioner Tommy Overstreet, Olivia Gressett, Tammy Farkas, Dana Mitchell, County Judge Sydney Murphy, Precinct 2 Commissioner Ronnie Vincent and Precinct 3 Commissioner Milt Purvis. Photo by Emily Banks Wooten

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Open house slated for Tuesday - To recognize disability employment awareness

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texasworkfoceFrom Enterprise Staff

“Disability – Part of the Equity Equation” is the primary focus locally of the Livingston Field Office of the Texas Workforce Commission – Vocational Rehabilitation Services during National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

The local office is hosting activities throughout the month of October to reinforce the value and talent people with disabilities add to the workplace and the community. An open house is slated for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday at the local field office at 1241 W. Church St., Suite 300 in Livingston and the community is invited.

October 2022 marks the 77th anniversary of National Disability Employment Awareness Month and its purpose is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.

For additional information, contact Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Brandy Colvin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Transitional Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Holly Hughes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 936-327-5421.

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City continuing clean-up efforts

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In its quest to eradicate all unsafe and dilapidated buildings from the city, the Livingston City Council will hold public hearings on the determination of two unsafe and/or dilapidated buildings during its regular meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday. Following the public hearings, Council will discuss and consider action on the final orders for each of the properties. The properties in question are:

A residential structure owned by Texas Specialty Homes, L.P. located at 302 Leopard St., as an unsafe and/or dilapidated building, the property being described as: Lot One (1), Block Fourteen (14) of the Dunbar Addition, an addition to the City of Livingston, in Polk County, Texas, according to the map or plat thereof recorded in Volume 1, Page 107 of the Plat Records of Polk County, Texas, also known as 302 Leopard St., Livingston, Texas; and

A residential structure owned by Gregory John located at 204 Younger Street, as an unsafe and/or dilapidated building, the property being described as: Lots Three (3) and Four (4), Block Seven (7) of the Pinecrest Addition to the City of Livingston, as shown by the map or plat thereof recorded in Volume 1, Page 21 of the Plat Records of Polk County, Texas, as described in deed dated September 7, 2008 from Elissie B. John to Gregory Wayne John, recorded in Volume 1663, Page 256 of the Official Public Records of Polk County, Texas.

In similar activity, Council is expected to set public hearings on the determination of unsafe and/or dilapidated buildings for two additional properties as well. These include:

A residential structure located at 1008 Dunbar Ave. owned by Dunbar Livingston 1008, LLC, the property being described as: Lot 6 of Block 1 of the Viola Jones Addition, a subdivision in the City of Livingston, in Polk County, Texas, according to the map or plat thereof recorded in Volume 1, Page 98 of the Plat Records of Polk County, Texas, also known as 1008 Dunbar Ave., Livingston, Texas; and

A residential structure and outbuildings owned by Joseph McCandless and Manda Kay McCandless, located at 106 East Ave., the property being described as: 1.262 acre of land in the M.L. Choate Survey, A-15, Polk County, Texas, called to be Lot 2 of Block 3 of the Meece Addition to the City of Livingston, and described in deed dated Nov. 14, 2019 from Annis Lee Crowley to Joseph McCandless and wife, Manda Kay McCandless, recorded in Volume 2234, Page 193 of the Official Public Records of Polk County, Texas.

Council is slated to discuss and consider action on: the City of Livingston’s personnel policy update; the City of Livingston’s pro-rata share of the 2022 dues for Brazos Transit; and the appointment of a director to the Board of Directors of the Sam Rayburn Municipal Power Agency for the 2022-2024 term.

An executive session is on the agenda at which time Council is expected to consult with the city attorney. However, any action will be taken upon return to open session.

Other items on the agenda include the city manager’s monthly report, accounts over $500 and minutes of the August 9 meeting.

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Council poised to deny proposed rate increase

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Onalaska logoA resolution denying the proposed rate increase by Onalaska Water & Gas Supply for natural gas will be considered for action by the Onalaska City Council during its regular meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Council will also consider action on a resolution establishing the Polk County Enterprise, which has a general circulation in the Onalaska area, as the city’s official newspaper.

In a personnel action request, Council will consider approval of Debbie Oxford as a telecommunication operator in the part time labor pool.

Twelve property owners or representatives are slated to make presentations to Council to show cause why their buildings should not be declared unsafe and/or dangerous. Following each presentation, Council will consider action to declare the buildings dangerous or unsafe. The 12 on Tuesday’s agenda include:

Jimmy Don Stallings, regarding Section 1, Lots 394 and 395 in Canyon Park;

Patty Scarbrough, regarding Section 1, Lot 157 in Canyon Park;

Monty Montague, regarding Section 1, Lot 128 in Canyon Park;

Lowell Phillips, regarding Section 4, Lot 146 in Canyon Park;

Michael Boone, regarding Section 1, Lot 43 in Canyon Park;

Timothy Frank Dassow, regarding Section 1, Lots 206 and 207 in Canyon Park;

Hildegard Polvado, regarding Section 4, Lot 291 in Canyon Park;

Joe Pharris, regarding Section 1, Lots 49 and 50 in Canyon Park;

Jonathan L. McKinney, regarding Section 1, Block 1, Lots 80-82 in Ponderosa Ridge;

James Whitman, regarding Section 4, Lots 16 and 17 in Ponderosa Ridge;

Julian and Sally Wright, regarding Section 4, Lots 8 and 10 in Ponderosa Ridge; and

Robert and Pamela Rusnick, regarding Section 4, Lot 2 in Ponderosa Ridge.

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

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

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