|Corrigan Times - Local News
Copyright 2014 - Polk County Publishing Company
More checks being distributed
LIVINGSTON – The treasuries of Polk County, local school districts and other taxing entities got a $61,500 boost Tuesday when District Clerk Kathy Clifton began distributing more of the "excess funds" that are being held by her offi ce. The funds were generated from the sale of property seized for the non-payment of taxes. Any money collected during those sales over and above the amount owed in tax is declared to be "excess funds" and is turned over to the clerk's offi ce. The previous owner of the property or their heirs have two years in which to reclaim the excess amount and if they don't, the clerk can then divide it among the taxing entities that hold an interest in that property. During Tuesday's meeting of the Polk County Commissioners Court, Clifton presented a report on the ongoing effort to get a backlog of excess fund distributed. The county's six school districts had expressed concern they had not been receiving the funds in recent years and Clifton has been working to insure procedures are in place to get the funding to the schools as quickly as possible. The commissioners court also has a keen interest in getting the funds distributed because the county has a tax interest in every delinquent property that is sold during the sheriff's sales. In her report, the district clerk noted earlier this year during the fi rst round of distributions, her offi ce issued checks totaling $59,807.17 to the various tax entities. The checks issued Tuesday were the second round of payments and totaled $61,556.93. Clifton presented the checks to the county as well as representatives of the Goodrich, Leggett and Big Sandy school districts who were present at the meeting. The checks to the Livingston, Corrigan-Camden and Onalaska schools districts and to other taxing entities were to be mailed. In addition, Clifton said she has $17,846.94 ready to disburse and that another $103,653.63 is awaiting the signature of County Court at Law Judge Stephen Phillips, which Clifton said she expects later this week. "The total of the amount we have processed so far is $242,964.67, which means we're about half way through," Clifton told commissioners. Clifton estimated that the fi - nal half of the backlog would be processed and distributed within the next four to six weeks. Road grant In other business during the meeting, the commissioners agreed to name themselves as the signatories for projects in their individual precinct for the Texas Department of Transportation Infrastructure Fund Grant. The grant, which totals almost $450,000, will be used to pay 80 percent of the cost of specifi c road projects in each of the precincts and County Judge John Thompson said TxDOT requires them to name a person who will be responsible for submitting various reports on the work as part of the accountability portion of the grant agreement. "There are a number of things that have to be done as part of the grant process and one of the big ones is accountability," Thompson told the commissioners. Other business During the meeting commissioners also: -- Approved the purchase of a 2014 Tahoe vehicle for the Precinct 3 Constable's Offi ce at a cost of $25,000. The vehicle is slightly used and has had minor damage from an accident repaired. -- Approved a variance for the Four Corners Estates Phase Four – The Park plat that would eliminate a requirement for the construction of a retention pond and approved the preliminary plat for the project. Pct. 2 Commissioner Ronnie Vincent told the court there already is a retention pond in the area and that the overall drainage on the property is good. In addition, the county's engineer had agreed to the variance. The fi nal plat for the project will be presented for approval once changes incorporating the variance are completed. -- Approved a plan by Pct. 4 Commissioner Tommy Overstreet to spend $17,000 to repair a bridge on the Midway Loop West that was damaged recently when a heavy truck broke eight of the 10 bridge stringers. Initially, Overstreet had requested an emergency order giving him an exemption to the bid process for the project, but that request was withdrawn after he learned the total cost of the repair would fall below the threshold requiring bids. -- Approved the termination of the agreement with Scott and Strong Architects for services related to the Polk County Animal Shelter. Commissioners voted in December to suspend the project. -- Approved a request to spend $620 to obtain 5,000 brochures related to promoting Polk County as a certifi ed retirement community. -- Approved a lease agreement for supplemental county parking at the Sears parking lot. -- Discussed why the county does not offer recycling as an option at its landfi ll collection sites. Pct. 1 Commissioner Bob Willis said he has been asked the question and also wondered why. Thompson explained that those who wish to recycle aluminum and other metals could sell them to private fi rms but that other materials, such as newspapers, plastics and glass were not economically feasible to recycle. It was noted that recycling fi rms no longer wanted to come to Polk County for items such as paper. "Right now it's cheaper to send it to the landfi ll," Thompson said.