By Tony Farkas
GROVETON — The city of Groveton will rely on the Trinity County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement after Mayor Ralph Bennett dismissed the force on Oct. 30.
Bennett said the city decided last week to do something different for law enforcement in the city, as he felt Chief Justin Cowart and another officer were not fitting Groveton’s needs.
“We decided to go in a different direction,” he said. “The department still exists, and won’t be disbanded.”
Bennett said he would not comment on any specific reasons.
He said the city will bring in other officers to fill the positions, but there was no timeline on refilling positions.
Meanwhile, the Sheriff’s Department will provide police protection until further notice. Residents can contact the Sheriff’s Department at (936) 642-1424 for police services and 911 for emergencies.
•On Oct. 23, the Groveton City Council held its regular meeting, and infrastructure projects were the main focus.
The city discussed an proposal from IMR Systems for treatment of sludge in the city’s wastewater lagoons, which was said to decrease sludge levels by around 65 percent. Cost for the treatment would amount to $1,090 a month.
The council took no action, but will review the proposal.
Additionally, the city applied for a $510,000 Community Development Block Grant, initially for street improvements, but was changed to the construction of a new ground storage tank for water, as the old one is deteriorating.
In other business, the council:
•approved payment of the $8,829.91 bill from Inframark for services on the city’s water and wastewater operations;
•approved an interlocal agreement with Trinity County for participation in a Community Wildfire Protection Plan grant application and committee;
•approved a proclamation recognizing Baldwin Chapel Baptist Church’s 140th anniversary;
•discussed progress on an ordinance regarding dilapidated and unsafe buildings; and
•discussed the Police Department productivity report for October, with 63 calls for service, 14 traffic stops, 11 warnings and 2 citations issued, and 11 reports taken.
Courtesy photo by Garry Brown
Groveton Mayor Ralph Bennett presents Pastor Curtis Owens Jr. of Baldwin Chapel Baptist Church with a proclamation recognizing the church for its 140th anniversary celebration during the church service on Oct. 29.