By Tony Farkas
GROVETON — The Trinity County Commissioners’ Court approved its budget for the next year, but not without some disagreement.
The approval was given at a Sept. 21 special meeting.
The county also approved the salary schedule for elected officials, which reflect changes that were made after the county commissioned a salary survey several months ago.
Commissioner Neal Smith pointed out that the commissioners had an older version of the budget document, which did not show the same figures as County Judge Doug Page and County Auditor Bonnie Kennedy had.
While questioning some of the differences, and specific line items, Kennedy upbraided Smith for his disrespectful attitude, while Smith maintained he needed to be able to question items in the budget.
During the public hearing on the budget, David Robison, owner of Groveton EMS, petitioned the court for a $250 per month increase to help offset costs that have gotten out of control because of COVID.
The county pays $1,500 per month to Groveton EMS for ambulance service in the county.
In the end, the budget was passed, with Smith voting against it.
In other business, the county:
- approved a new position for IT services, andauthorized advertising to fill the position;
- directed commissioners to nominate a person from each precinct to serve on a jail committee, along with Sheriff Woody Wallace, District Attorney Bennie Schiro, County Attorney Colton Hay and two as-yet-unnamed members of the Commissioners’ Court;
- approved an agreement between the county and Jeff Diamond for access to private property to address drainage issues on county property;
- discussed Dumpster rental for proposed county clean-up projects;
- discussed the purchase of tire shredding machines; and
- delayed for the third time enacting a burn ban in the county.