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Stories Added - January 2009
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County officials OK tire disposal, allows funds for seizure of horses in Pct. 3
Polk County Enterprise - January 2009
LIVINGSTON — Polk County Commissioners clarified an earlier previous bid award for the purchase of law enforcement vehicles during Tuesday’s regular meeting. The modification revises which vehicles from the PCSO fleet will be trade-ins. The approved change alters the trade in value from $17,050 to $14,450. The net amount to be financed by a reimbursement resolution changed from $273,880 stated in a previous court session to $276,480. Commissioners approved a request from Maintenance Engineering Supervisor Jay Burks to allow a Cleveland-based salvage company to haul off a stack of used tires at the Leggett barn. The tires had been previously declared surplus equipment and sold during an online auction to a Dallas-based tire company but the purchaser “cherry-picked” through the stack of tires and left many behind, according to Burks. The grace period for buyers to pick up their purchases has long since lapsed and none of the remaining tires would pass a state safety inspection to be used on county-owned vehicles, Burks said. Burks added that if the county’s inventory of used tires ever exceeds 499, additional permits from the Environmental Protection Agency would have to be obtained. The tires are also providing a breeding ground for mosquitoes, Burks said. On a motion by Vincent, the court approved disposing of the tires with the Cleveland salvage company that chips the tires to be used in road materials. Commissioners also approved the transfer of $1,663 from the contingency fund to reimburse Pct. 3 Constable Ray Myers for expenses related to a recent seizure of several animals that required testing and quarantine for 15 days before they could be sold at auction. The auction sale of nine horses, one pig and one bull brought $2,563 $1,663 less than expenses related to seizing them. Sheriff Kenneth Hammack said at least one of the horses sold for less than the cost of a mandated Coggins test. Commissioner Tommy Overstreet asked Myers why he had taken custody of the animals instead of the sheriff’s department. Myers said that the way the seizure order was written required him personally to take possession of and care for the animals. The sheriff’s department was very helpful — especially Chief Deputy Byron Lyons and Detective Howard Smith — throughout the process. Since PCSO’s animal shelter in Livingston did not have room for the animals, law enforcement officers had to make arrangements with private individuals to care for the animals at a cost of $10 a day per animal. The constable added that out of hundreds of writs of attachment he has handled during his career this is the first time he has been required to personally arrange for the quarantine and care of animals. County employees will see an increase in the amount of vacation time and extra time worked for exempt employees, in accordance with a revision suggested by Human Resources Director Jeanette Montgomery. Under the revised policy, county employees will have the same guidelines as state employees as far as the amount of hours that can be carried over to a new year. Commissioners also delegated authority to the county auditor to amend contracts for routine office equipment such a copy machines, mobile phones and other routine equipment. The commissioners court also unanimously approved a resolution to seek Community Development Block Grant Funds through the Office of Rural Community Affairs for upgrades to the senior citizens centers. County Judge John Thompson said this particular grant would fund improvements in the facilities and not operating costs for the aging services programs. “Every two years or so we get an opportunity to apply for a grant along with a lot of other folks,” Thompson said. “The one that’s come to forefront this time is for some upgrades to the seniors center. We never know if it’s going to be funded or not.” With the approval of the consent agenda items, the court: • Ratified an Older Americans Program contract between the Deep East Texas Council of Governments and Polk County Aging Services for Fiscal Year 2009. • Approved a maintenance engineering request to advertise for bids for the purchase of a vehicle as approved in the FY 2009 budget. • Ratified a grant agreement with the Texas Department of Agriculture for home-delivered meal grant program and Polk County Aging Services through Jan. 31, 2010. • Approved a lease agreement with Texas Imaging Systems relating to county office equipment. • Authorized bonds for elected officials with terms beginning Jan. 1, 2009 • Approved minutes of the Jan. 8 regular meeting of the Commissioners Court. • Passed budget amendments as submitted and reviewed by a courtappointed committee. • Approved a request from the Pct. 4 constable’s office to appoint Cliff Goddard and Dwight Esmond as reserve deputy constables effective Jan. 27. • Ratified a resolution supporting a grant application for Polk County crime victims services. • Ratified amendment to an agreement with Workforce Solutions Deep East Texas work site adding supervisors at Corrigan and Livingston nutrition centers. Commissioners decided to table an agenda item related to the lease of two radio towers from Sam Houston Electric Coop for radio.