|Corrigan Times - Local News
Copyright 2012 - Polk County Publishing Company
County OKs budget, bans burning
LIVINGSTON — Polk County Commissioners vot-ed to approve a budget of $226,494,068.59 Tuesday including $16,373,104.09 in general fund items and $5,089,442.19 to be divided among the four road and bridge precincts, with all ayes except for Pct. 1 Bob Willis, who was out of town.Revenue to meet those ex-penses will come from an ad valorem tax rate of 62.77 cents per $100 in value, mak-ing the eighth year the court has set the same rate, County Judge John Thompson point-ed out. Commissioners agreed to use $741,657.71 out of the general fund balance; $9,712 out of the Aging fund bal-ance and $29,385 out of the County Clerk Records Man-agement fund balance in FY 2013. In FY 2012, $298,452 was used from the general fund balance. Since the budget was filed with the County Clerk on Aug. 16, and posted on the county’s website, the follow-ing changes were made in the proposed budget:• The Attorney General’s office notified the county that the vendor for the Texas VINE Victim Notification program will be paid directly from the OAG’s office to the $17,369 in grant revenue and related expense has been de-leted from the county budget. • Current ad valorem tax revenue increase by $20,343.80 after railroad rolling stock was added to the tax roll and pollution control exemptions were removed from total taxable values. • The Indigent Defense Grant revenue was reduced by $29,624 after the Attor-ney General’s office notified county officials that there would be not equalization payments for the coming year. (Polk County received $41,554 in 2011)• Cost adjustment to the CIRA software program, which is based on 0.001 of the General Fund Revenue. The loss of the equalization payments reduces the cost of that software by $28.68. • Other charges including changes in certificate pay eligibility, personnel actions decreasing longevity pay and associated benefits and mis-cellaneous line items correc-tions. Commissioners also ap-proved a final request for a change made by Sheriff Ken-neth Hammack to reclassify a secretarial position from part-time to full time. Ham-mack said this particular non-licensed staff member has been trained to perform a wide variety of duties in records, warrants and sex of-fender registry and has prov-en to be a pretty valuable em-ployee. “We have some available 1funds in a regular salary line item, but we are short $5,550,” Hammack said. “If we move the entire amount, it will put us at the breaking point in the labor pool.” The court also approved annual bids for the purchase of precinct road materials; bulk limestone road base; tires and tubes; oil, grease, gasoline and diesel; pest control services; and motor grader blades. Commissioners approved various vendors for road ma-terials.Southern Tire Mart and A to Z Tire were approved as vendors for tires and tubes for the coming year. Hughes Oil was awarded the vendor oil, grease, gaso-line and diesel.The pest control contract will continue to be Broken Arrow.Commissioners also voted to retain Jim Allison with Allison & Bass for legal ser-vices pertaining to the Polk County College/Commerce Center/Shelter Project. Polk County Emergency Management Coordinator Larry Pitts advised commis-sioners that a burn ban is necessary because the mois-ture content is getting down to dangerous levels.“Angelina County is in good shape and we have rain in the forecast, but they said the same thing last week,” Pitts told commissioners. “Counties to our west have had burn bans in place for some time.”Pct. 4 Commissioner Tommy Overstreet said Livingston Fire Department has battled five fires since Sunday “ranging from as big as this courtroom to 204 acres.” They were called out to three more fires Tuesday be-fore this story went to press. The burn ban affects all outdoor burning in unincor-porated areas of the county except for in approved en-closed containers. The City of Livingston has a ban on outdoor burning at all times.