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Trinity County News 2

County forms jail committee

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Trinity Countyseal 200By Tony Farkas
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GROVETON — The county is taking the first steps toward possibly building a new jail.

At its regular meeting on Sept. 28, the Trinity County Commissioners’ Court approved a committee to do research and bring recommendations back to the court regarding the jail. The panel consists of four people from public — one from each County Precinct — as well as the District and County attorneys, Sheriff Woody Wallace, and two members of the court.

Sam Shanafelt, Ricky Hortman, Julie Merchant and Don Hamilton will serve on the committee, and the court members nominated were Neal Smith and Steven Truss. 

County Judge Doug Page said the county has spent $400,000 this year to house inmates out of county.

In other business, the county:

  • approved a raise in per diem meal rates from $46 per day to $59 per day — $13 for breakfast, $15 for lunch and $26 for dinner;
  • approved a tax rate which is the same as last year — $0.5846 per $100 valuation;
  • approved the county auditor salary;
  • approved an agreement with Pablo and Valerie Gomez for the county to get on private land to address public drainage issues;
  • approved personnel action forms;
  • approved budget amendments end of the year tidying up before the audit;
  • approved old office equipment as surplus items, and sent to a company in Tyler for recycling;
  • approved the annual copier lease agreements; and
  • delayed any action regarding a video recording system for commissioners court meetings.
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Groveton utility rates to go up

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groveton texas city limits 250TCNS staff

GROVETON — The Groveton City Council approved a modest increase in water rates at its regular meeting on Sept. 27.

Mayor Tommy Walton said council members approved a 6 percent increase, which will increase the average bill around $4. 

City Accountant Jack Pashtag had petitioned the council for a 10 percent increase in water and sewer rates, saying the city has not had a rate increase in years, which was creating a funding problem for maintaining the city systems. 

After some discussion, the council approved a 6 percent increase, but left room for another increase if after a few months the city needed more. 

In a related matter, Walton presented information on converting the city systems to electronic water meters. 

“Our old meters are not accurate and we have performed studies on a sampling of meters and realize that we have at least a 17 percent loss on the old meters under-reading,” he said. “The new meters will be more accurate and can even be monitored by apps on customer cell phones so they can get warnings if leaks are detected.”

Walton said other cities have installed the metering system, and he feels it is the way the city should go.

“It is not cheap but it should almost pay for itself in savings,” he said. “We are doing our due diligence before moving forward.”

The city also approved disclosure policies and procedures regarding the refinancing of the 2009 bonds. The city refinanced the bonds with a better interest rate, which save the city around $465,000 over the life of the bonds. 

In other business, the city:

  • signed required paperwork involving the purchase of the new fire engine for Groveton VFD;
  • approved a resolution to use the money we are receiving from the American Rescue Plan to go toward the cleanup of our sewer plant. Groveton will see around $253,458 in total, but will receive half this year and half next year;
  • approved a resolution and policy package relating to civil rights requirements for ARPA funds; 
  • discussed a request from Groveton EMS for an increase;
  • approved hiring licensed inspectors to avoid liability issues; 
  • Adopted the Trinity County News-Standard as the newspaper record;
  • Adopted Citizens State Bank as the city’s official bank depository
  • Adopted a property tax rate of .9479 per $100 of valuation; and
  • Adopted the FY 2021-22 budget of $1,482,000.
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Trinity falls in opener

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A Trinity runner gains ground against the Diboll Lumberjacks. (Courtesy photo by Scott Womack)A Trinity runner gains ground against the Diboll Lumberjacks. (Courtesy photo by Scott Womack)

By Scott Womack
TCNS correspondent

DIBOLL — The Tigers were unable to sustain any scoring drives and dropped the district opener 49-8.

The Tigers faced the 2020 defending District Champion Lumberjacks on Friday. 

The Tigers received the opening kickoff and were unable to move the ball and were forced to punt. The Lumberjacks first possession resulted in a 72-yard scoring drive, and with the Tigers blocking the extra point kick, Trinity trailed 6-0 with 5:15 left in the first quarter. 

The Tigers were able to move the ball on their next drive, starting at their own 23-yard line, and a mix of passing and running put the Tigers in position to reach the end zone. On third & 10 from the Lumberjack 12-yard line, Cole Caldwell was able to complete a pass  to Terius Maxie for a touchdown. The Tigers took the lead on a pass from Andrew Crabtree to Caldwell for a successful 2-point try and an 8-6 lead early in the second quarter. 

The Tiger defense was able to force a punt, but an intercepted Tiger pass for a score gave the lead back to the Lumberjacks. The Tigers were unable to get their offense back on track and the Lumberjack offense was able to put three more touchdowns on the scoreboard before halftime and took a 35-8 lead into the locker room at halftime. 

Trinity was able to hold the Lumberjacks to two scores in the second half but couldn’t generate any offense of its own.

The Tigers will be back at Tiger Stadium Friday Night as they host the Coldspring-Oakhurst Trojans. The Tigers will face many distractions throughout the week as the Trinity Community Fair will be held on Friday and Saturday, but the coaching staff has been stressing the need to stay focused on the game on Friday night and enjoy the festivities on Saturday. Kick-off will be at 7 p.m.

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Redistricting may mean change in Trinity

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Proposed districtsProposed districts

By Tony Farkas
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AUSTIN — A plan being considered by the Texas Legislature for redistricting U.S. Congressional Districts could mean a different representative for Trinity County.

Labeled PLANC2101, Trinity County will become part of Congressional District 17, leaving District 8. 

Other notable area changes include part of Walker County, as well as Madison and Grimes counties, will move into District 10. According to documents from the Texas Legislative Council, congressional districts have been apportioned by a population count of 766,987

Current DistrictsCurrent DistrictsDistrict 8 currently is represented by Republican Kevin Brady, who has announced his retirement and will serve out his remaining term. District 17 is represented by Republican Pete Sessions, a Republican from Waco. District 10 is represented by Michael McCaul, a Republican from Austin.

While District 17 picked up more of East Texas, it lost ground in the west, which was assumed by District 10. District 8 ceded several counties to both 10 and 17.

Part of the reason the Texas Legislature is in its third special session is to deal with redistricting; as of now, no plan has been approved.

In the case of Walker County, according to state law, before elections are held under the new districts, counties that are split by congressional, legislative, or State Board of Education district boundaries under the newly adopted plans must change their voting precinct boundaries to conform with the new district lines.

The state constitution requires a candidate for state legislative office to have resided for at least one year before the general election in the district the candidate seeks to represent.

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