By Tony Farkas
GROVETON — The Trinity County Commissioners Court set aside half of its remaining ARPA funds for the individual road precincts for repairs and will poll department heads to discuss their needs for the remaining money.
At its regular meeting on Oct. 24, the court discussed what to do with the second half of the American Rescue Plan Act funds, which comes to $1.23 million.
Commissioner Steven Truss said the county has put its needs off while other needs, such as water systems around the county; Commissioner Tommy Park agreed, saying the county helped out those departments, but roads throughout the county are bad.
County Attorney Colton Hay advocated refurbishing the community center at the Y, while Commissioner Neal Smith said a new center should be built. Smith also said the fire department in Friday needed a building, as firefighters are using their own drives to park engines.
The court did approve allocating $150,000 to each of the four road departments, and at the urging of County Judge Danny Martin, will ask all county department heads to submit requests and then prioritize those for funding.
In other business, the commissioners:
•tabled again a request from Justice of the Peace Richard Steptoe to add a copier to the county’s lease, as it was seeking costs for smaller models. Steptoe told the court that the request actually would save money, as it would cost only $828 a year to lease, while he was paying $1,400 per year on ink alone;
•approved only one of two personnel action forms after discussion of the necessity of another employee in the maintenance department;
•approved necessary budget amendments;
•approved changes to the jury selection plan;
•tabled a decision on a new case management system for the county and District Clerk’s Office;
•approved the selection of Langford Community Management Services as grant administrator for the USDA wildfire grant, and approved agreements with the cities of Groveton and Trinity for participation in the plan;
•approved the donation of $1,000 from Shanon and Jolynn Wars for cameras to be used for litter abatement;
•approved replacing the dash cams systems for the Sheriff’s Office; and
•approved accepting the TxDOT surplus material allocation for the coming fiscal year.