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Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - April 2010
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Accurate census crucial to county representation, fair share of state, federal funds

Polk County Enterprise


LIVINGSTON - Polk County Judge John Thompson started Tuesday’s session of Commissioners Court by emphasizing the importance of getting a complete census count. “The more people we count, the better we do in funding formulas for any monies that come down from state and federal sources,” Thompson said. The census also determines representation at the state level — state representatives and state senators — and congressional representation, Thompson added. Those are the numbers that are used to draw boundary lines for federal, state and county offices. Texas stands to gain four additional seats in the U.S. House of Representatives if the 2010 Census results meet population forecasts. As of Tuesday, Polk County’s participation rate edged ahead of 2000, with 50 percent of the households returning census forms. In 2000, only 48 percent of Polk County households returned census forms. Census officials define the participation rate as the number of forms returned by households that actually received them. The rate does not include forms returned to the Census Bureau by the post office. Texas had a participation rate of 61 percent; compared to a final rate of 68 percent in 2000. Nationally, 66 percent of households are participating, compared to 72 percent in 2000. Results for the City of Livingston are showing 63 percent participation so far, compared to 67 percent in 2000. Participation rates for other Polk County cities include: Alabama Coushatta Tribe of Texas — 50 percent (55 percent in 2000) Corrigan — 58 percent (50 in 2000) Goodrich — 39 percent (52 percent in 2000) Onalaska – 42 percent (37 in 2000) Seven Oaks — 51 percent (33 in 2000) Courtney Comstock with the Polk County Emergency Management Department said her agency joined census staff for a three-hour “blitz” at the Livingston Wal-Mart Saturday. “We passed out 150 census forms and gave away backpacks, ball caps and other prizes. We visited with residents and had a blast,” Comstock said. Any resident who has not received a census form can pick one up at the Emergency Management Office in the Polk County Office Annex, 602 E. Church St., during normal business hours; Escapees, 155 Care Center Drive from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; the Corrigan Fire Station at 101 N. Home in Corrigan from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday and Tuesday or at Pct. 3 Commissioner Milt Purvis’ office at 921 S. Home in Corrigan. Pct. 2 Commissioner Ronnie Vincent asked Comstock to add his office as a location in Onalaska as well. Commissioners approved a request from Sheriff Kenneth Hammack that will ensure payment for accrued leave comes from the budget of the county department where the employee earned the time off. Investigator Mark Jones is leaving the District Attorney’s office to accept a vacant patrol lieutenant position at the sheriff’s office. During his time with the DA’s office he has accumulated 80 hours of paid leave, and Hammack wanted to clarify whether that expense will come from his department’s budget. Commissioners approved a motion by Pct. 4 Commissioner Tommy Overstreet that any employee ought to “cash out” for budgeting purposes before moving to another department. That would, in effect, delay the hiring of a new staff member in the DA’s office until Jones’ paid leave is exhausted. Hammack said the former lieutenant’s accrued leave will run out Monday or Tuesday and he planned for Jones to begin work at PCSO then. Commissioners also approved a proposed division order for a 940-acre tract in the Baxter, A- 1411 1-H Unit and authorized the County Judge to execute related documents. Thompson said the county has a 0.005 percent interest and that any payments will accumulate until royalties reach $100. “We may or may not see a check this year,” Thompson said. He added that the division order had been reviewed by Malcolm Jones, a local attorney whose practice chiefly focuses on real estate matters. Commissioners also voted to reappoint Thompson and Overstreet as designated representatives for Polk County on the Deep East Texas Council of Governments. Commissioners also voted to vacate the original plat of Treasure Point Subdivision and approve the final plat of Pelican Point


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