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Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - November 2009
Copyright 2009 - Polk County Publishing Company

City to retain new auditor
Houston County Courier -  November 2009

By Daphne Hereford
Managing Editor

Members of Crockett City Council authorized the city administrator to negotiate a contract with a new auditor during the regular meeting held on Monday, Nov. 2.
City Administrator Ron Duncan said it was a staffing issue that prevented Jesse Stephens from continuing in the capacity of auditor.
Duncan said he sent out eight requests for proposal packets and that three firms responded.
He said staff comprised of himself, Stephens and City Secretary Mitzi Thompson, selected Axley and Rode, LLP, of Lufkin as the firm that best fit the criteria.
“All three firms are highly qualified,” Duncan said.
Councilman Robert Meadows asked about the cost that would be associated with the audit since no price was mentioned in the information distributed.
Duncan said a new firm would cost the city about $10,000 more than past years.
Duncan distributed to council members a proposed price schedule for the three firms who submitted proposals. The estimated costs were Axley and Rode, LLP, $26,000; Todd, Hamaker and Johnson, $24,600 plus out of pocket expenses and Belt, Harris and Associates, $21,995 plus $7,000 for a single audit.
Duncan said he would negotiate with Axley and Rode LLP for a three-year contract and if an agreement could not be reached, he would contact the other firms beginning with Todd, Hamaker and Johnson.
In other business, following the police report, council questioned Crockett Police Sgt. Mike Harrell about the number of false alarm calls on the October report.
Sgt. Harrell said of the 38 alarm calls the department had received, eight were no-fault false alarms and 30 were false alarms.
When questions, Sgt. Harrell said the majority of the false alarm calls were still coming from Crockett Independent School District.
“Our efforts have failed,” Mayor Wayne Mask said regarding the city’s attempts to rectify the situation.
Duncan said he has left messages and had not gotten any positive response from the school district regarding the problem.
Duncan said he would have a report at the next meeting and a draft of a false alarm ordinance for council’s consideration for the first meeting in December.
During the fire department report, Crockett Fire Department Chief Darrell Deckard introduced the three new full-time firefighters who will fill the positions created by the SAFER grant.
Introduced were Dusty Gene Cockerell, Joseph Ray Berry and Terry Evans. Cockerell and Berry are also certified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). Evans is enrolled in EMT school.
“This is a milestone day for our city,” Mayor Mask said as he welcomed the new employees.
Council approved the appointment of W.L. Tillis to the City of Crockett Planning and Zoning Commission.
Reappointments to the City of Crockett Parks and Recreation Board included Larry Robbins, David Tyer, Tim Culp, and Pam Wells. Appointments included Jeff Nuner, Xavier Wooten and Stephen Hardin.
Council approved a resolution casting their 268 votes for Mike Maiden as a candidate for the Houston County Appraisal District Board of Directors.
The city approved an ordinance adopting a Hazard Mitigation Plan at the request of the Houston County Office of Emergency Management and Fire Marshal. The plan will be identical to the plan first adopted in 2004.
Council approved the first amendment to the agreement between the city and Houston County Emergency Services District No. 2. The amendment essentially renews the existing agreement for another year.
Resident Patty LaClair addressed members of council and presented them with photographs of the effects of a drainage problem she says has existed for a number of years on her property on Rosewood Street.
Ms. LaClair said a number of years ago the city dug a little ditch to help eliminate the problem but it wasn’t in the correct place.
“I don’t know what to do,” she said.
Mayor Mask told Ms. LaClair that the city would explore what options were available and they would contact her.



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