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Decisions made on senior nutrition program

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Russ and Nancy Pilgrim of Pilgrim Insurance Agency present a donation of $950 to Pct. 1 Commissioner Joe Blacksher for the county’s senior nutrition program.  CHRIS EDWARDS | TCBRuss and Nancy Pilgrim of Pilgrim Insurance Agency present a donation of $950 to Pct. 1 Commissioner Joe Blacksher for the county’s senior nutrition program. CHRIS EDWARDS | TCBBy Chris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – On Monday, the commissioners voted to terminate the county’s agreement with Tyler County Hospital as a provider for the senior nutrition program.

Pct. 1 Commissioner Joe Blacksher spoke about the success of the program since it was reinstituted in January and said the hospital has been great to the county as meal providers for the program, but the demand has been high. Blacksher said with the county taking over the meal preparation aspect, the price per meal can lower to two to three dollars. The agreement with TCH will end on April 1.

Blacksher also reported that the county will get an $80K reimbursement for the program, which will be put toward the food and employees.

“It’s not about the food,” Blacksher said. “It’s about the community.” He said the meals served at the Nutrition Center are done with a suggested donation cost to patrons.

The court also accepted a donation of $950 from Hochheim Prairie Insurance from Russ and Nancy Pilgrim, of Pilgrim Insurance Agency.

In another agenda item on Monday morning’s meeting of the commissioners’ court, the county also approved changing the status of the nutrition program employees to full-time, beginning on May 1.

Kenney addresses commissionerson VFD support

During the public forum portion of Monday’s meeting, Glen Kenney of ESD #5, approached the commissioners

and County Judge Milton Powers about funding for the county’s volunteer fire departments.

Kenney said that perhaps funds from the county’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds could go toward supporting the VFDs.

Kenney said he’d spoken with Pct. 3 Commissioner Mike Marshall on the matter, and Marshall had voiced support.

He said that although he was representing the county’s ESD #5, all of the VFDs need funding assistance. “Volunteer firemen are a special breed, they do it for nothing,” Kenney said.

A need that Kenney said Dam B VFD currently has is for a building to house its pumper truck, which is currently stored at the fire chief’s house. He said that some VFDs in Tyler County have expressed a need for emergency standby generators.

Deputy Academy tuition support approved

Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford spoke on behalf of the county supporting police academy tuition for existing employees who would be an asset to the Tyler County Sheriff’s Department.

Weatherford praised TCSO investigator Chase Nalley and County Treasurer Leann Monk for taking the lead on drafting a contract for the measure.

Weatherford said TCSO does not need any additional monies to be able to provide the tuition support but brought the matter before the commissioners. The assistance comes with a three-year contract for the applicants to serve in Tyler County.

Weatherford said the county will fully pay for two individuals to attend the 2023 fall semester of a local police academy. Applicants must submit an essay detailing as to why they should be considered a recipient; along with at least three letters of recommendation from county residents and be able to pass a comprehensive background investigation and complete a board interview.

Nalley spoke about the good the assistance would bring. “New applicants in law enforcement are down and retirements are up,” he said. “We need to be proactive in retaining our officers here in Tyler County.”

Any interested individuals can visit Monk’s office, in person, at 100 West Bluff, Room 103, in Woodville.

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