Log in

Top Stories        News         Sports

Polk County News - Breakout

Financial support still needed

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Health Board GenericBy Emily Banks Wooten

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

The Polk County Emergency Health Board (PCEHB) is a 501(c)3 organization that was established in 1986 to assist low-come (by federal guidelines) children and families with acute illnesses requiring immediate attention.

“What a year it has been as so many changes have happened to everyone because of the pandemic. Unfortunately, we have been unable to schedule our annual shrimp boil fundraiser at the Cochran-Hughes Ranch, but we’re hoping to have a Spring 2022 shrimp boil and we want to let you know that we’re still reaching out to those who need critical medical assistance, especially with medications, medical supplies and/or gas to get to medical appointments,” PCEHB President John Muzny said.

“We continue to need your financial support for those who have limited financial resources and little or no family support for medical essentials that are often life threatening,” Muzny said.

Six hundred patients were served in 2018 at an average cost per patient of $42.47. Six hundred eighty-two patients were served in 2019 at an average cost per patient of $31.85. In 2020 only 431 patients were served at an average cost per patient of $26.49.

The social work staff and volunteers at the Department of State Health Services screen the applicants, who are referred primarily by other agencies, churches, school personnel, hospital staff and the Polk County Indigent Program. Many applicants are also referred to other programs and clinics, such as the Health Center of Southeast Texas in Livingston. Most of the families served do not qualify for government programs or may receive only limited benefits.

Medication is the primary request, with transportation assistance running second. If a child is in need, the prescription is filled and the family is given assistance in filling out a Medicaid or CHIP application. Often it is necessary to limit assistance to adults, as their medications are so expensive.

Muzny gave the following examples of Polk County residents who have been helped by PCEHB during the past year:

• A mother who is taking care of a young adult son with a brain tumor called for help as the doctor had prescribed new medications and they could not afford the insurance co-pays.

• A single adult with disabilities needed multiple medications (including mental health meds) and had reached indigent program limits for the month.

• A family needed assistance to pay for medications for a special needs child as his father had contracted COVID and lost his job, including his insurance.

• A senior couple with disabilities and on a limited income just lost their son to COVID and no longer had help with paying for medications (including insulin and diabetic supplies).

A widowed grandmother who is the guardian of three grandchildren needed help to buy medications after an emergency room visit so that she could continue caring for them with no disruptions.

“The telephone calls to PCEHB volunteers may come as a last resort from a family member, caregiver, social worker, home health or hospital staff, but all are reaching out to find assistance for patients who are often in a crisis situation and have no other options to obtain needed medications,” Muzny said.

“We all want to do our part in making the community that we share a better place. We want to continue providing medical assistance and referral services to help them avoid the ER, saving money for everyone. Because volunteers provide needed services, only minimal administrative costs for mailings are needed for this program,” Muzny said.

“A gift of love to PCEHB from your heart to the hearts of those who desperately need it is so precious to out Polk County neighbors. Where does the love go? It is in the bottle of medications that you provide, in the gas to get to medical appointments, in the medical supplies to bind an open would, and in the sharing of our blessings with those who not only need our help, but hope and a future,” Muzny said.

  • Hits: 266

F.A.I.T.H. seeking volunteers

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

GRATITUDE DISPLAYED Volunteers with the Families And Individuals Thanking Heroes (F.A.I.T.H.) Military Support Group were pleased recently to receive this picture and email from some of the heroes who have received care packages from the group. The email said, “Good afternoon. Thank you for all the care packages you have sent! It means the world to us. There was a day last week where we were out working and missed breakfast and lunch. Those care packages came in handy so much that day! Thank you for your support.” Courtesy photoGRATITUDE DISPLAYED Volunteers with the Families And Individuals Thanking Heroes (F.A.I.T.H.) Military Support Group were pleased recently to receive this picture and email from some of the heroes who have received care packages from the group. The email said, “Good afternoon. Thank you for all the care packages you have sent! It means the world to us. There was a day last week where we were out working and missed breakfast and lunch. Those care packages came in handy so much that day! Thank you for your support.” Courtesy photo

From Enterprise Staff

The Families And Individuals Thanking Heroes (F.A.I.T.H.) Military Support Group will gather to pack care packages for members of the military at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 4 in the parking lot of Livingston Physical Therapy at 305 W. Mill St. and is seeking volunteers to come out and help. Snacks and drinks will be provided.

The group gathers to pack boxes on the second Thursday of every month except December when it meets on the first Saturday morning so the heroes may receive two packages in time for Christmas. They start with prayer and announcements and then begin packing the care packages which usually takes about an hour.

F.A.I.T.H. was formed in June 2006 to provide encouragement and support to military personnel while they are away from home. Each person on the list has a tie to Polk County, as each person’s address has been given to the group by someone locally. But not all heroes are from Polk County. The list includes all branches of the military and since 2006, F.A.I.T.H. has shipped more than 23,000 care packages to the troops.

A charitable 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the volunteers are individuals from the community showing respect to the men and women serving the country, as well as local church groups, service organizations, youth groups from various schools and the Livingston High School NNDCC (ROTC).

Since starting, only two months of sending packages have been missed -- once when Hurricane Ike came through Livingston and once during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the shortage of supplies.

Packed with love and support, the care packages contain Hormel meats and soup, peanut butter, snacks, hygiene items and various goodies to keep their energy and spirits up while they are away. The group tries to include as much protein as possible each month.

Postage for the care packages costs $17.80 for large overseas boxes and $13.75 for the medium domestic boxes, plus the cost of the products. The group is currently sending an average of 125 boxes per month. The average monthly postage cost is approximately $2,100. Although the community contributes items for the packages, additional items to supplement it are still needed. Approximately $2,400 per month is typically spent for the additional items, bringing the total to $4,500 per month. Expenses include postage, care package supplies and labels. All administrative tasks are donated. One hundred percent of all donations are spent on the care packages and postage.

Delivery of items and cash donations are taken at the Livingston Physical Therapy office at 305 W. Mill St. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays and from 8 a.m. to noon on Fridays. The office is closed for lunch daily from noon until 1 p.m.

  • Hits: 304

Court to eye water plant improvements

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Polk County LogoThe Polk County Commissioners Court will review the bid and consider action on the Dallardsville/Segno Water Supply Corporation plant improvements through the Texas Department of Agriculture fiscal year 2020 for Contract No. 7220361 during its regular meeting at 10 a.m. Monday.

A request from Sheriff Byron Lyons for an interlocal cooperation agreement with Kaufman County for contracted housing of Polk County inmates in the Kaufman County Jail will be considered by the Court, in addition to determining the method of funding.

Commissioners will consider approval of a resolution to appoint members to the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) required by Local Government Code, Chapter 351, updated in the 87th legislative session.

An agreement between the Polk County Bail Bonds Board and Genesis Ebonds will be considered for approval.

Commissioners will consider action regarding a request to the Texas Department of Transportation for the county purchase of reclaimed asphalt, including the method of payment.

Action regarding Bid No. 2022-12 for the purchase of a generator for emergency management to be funded from maintenance capital outlay buildings (budgeted funds) will be considered by the Court.

Commissioners will consider a request for capital purchase to be paid from the general fund balance and included on the fiscal year 2022 reimbursement resolution for year-end issuance of legally authorized debt, specifically, a request from emergency management for 13 automated external defibrillator units (AEDs) for Polk County buildings, not to exceed $18,096.

In personnel matters, Commissioners are slated to review and consider action on personnel action forms submitted since the last meeting and review any authorized emergency hirings.

Commissioners will consider fiscal year 2021 and fiscal year 2022 budget revisions and amendments, as presented by the county auditor’s office.

Items on the consent agenda include:

Approve minutes of the previous meetings;

Approve schedules of bills;

Approve order designating surplus property;

Receive county auditor’s monthly report, pursuant to Local Government Code Sec. 114.025;

Approve order renewing Polk County tax abatement criteria and guidelines for the two-year period beginning Dec. 11, 2021 and ending Dec. 10, 2023; and

Approve request from District Attorney Lee Hon for asset forfeiture expenditure of seized property in the amount of $5,360.82 for investigative services.

  • Hits: 467

GISD receives positive financial report

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Goodrich ISD Hornet Facing LeftThe Goodrich ISD board received the financial audit report and financial integrity rating in November’s monthly meeting Thursday
night in the administration building.

CPA Eric Carver with Axley & Rode gave a financial audit report for the district, saying that the past year was particularly challenging. However, Goodrich ISD was able to perform well. The opinion issued by
Axley & Rode was an u modified, clean opinion, meaning that finances were materially correct.

Carver said because schools have accepted money from the government
through Essar funds, they may need to have funds stored to pay some of it back. He also said the government could come back and mandate additional requirements, such as a limit on students in a classroom, a
limit on students in a bus or other examples that could cause expenditures. Those items, if they occur, would come in the next two
to three years, Carver said.

Carver said schools would need to have funds available, as they are
not held harmless this year as they were in the past with COVID-19. A
surge of the virus in the spring could cost the school district
thousands of dollars if groups of students were not able to attend for
an extended period.

Overall, Goodrich ISD is up $700,000 in total assets, with around
$118,000 of that in capital improvements, such as buildings. The cash
was up around $590,000 with donations like the new solar project and
the rise in property taxes. The net position is $3.6 million, up
$822,000 from the prior year. Revenues were up almost $250,000, mostly
from the solar project donation. Expenditures decreased about $135,000
from the year before.

Goodrich was issued the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas’
(FIRST) rating for 2020-2021 based on the 2019-2020 school year. A
superior achievement rating of 100 was received by the Goodrich ISD
financial department, led by business manager Kaelin Smith, fulfilling
all 20 categories on which they were graded.

The district is looking to upgrade teacher computers and displays in
the classroom. Once a recommendation has been returned, it will be
placed on the agenda, possibly as soon as December.

The school’s window project went back out for bid after the district
felt bids returned the first time were high. The first of four or five
bids have been returned. Goodrich Superintendent Daniel Barton said
his office was excited that this round of bids “look like they will be
a lot better than projected, based off previous bids.” Bathroom
renovation bids will soon be collected. There is also the possibility
that someone will be hired on a project basis or that the job could be
done in-house.

In business items, the board approved the financial audit report,
district improvement plan, primary campus improvement plan and a
salary increase for one of the bus routes.

  • Hits: 450