|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - June 2010
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Release the rockets - No fireworks ban this year
Polk County Enterprise
BY VALERIE REDDELL
LIVINGSTON — Fireworks vendors and residents who plan to celebrate the July 4 holiday with a home-grown pyrotechnics show can celebrate an announcement at Tuesday’s session of the Polk County Commissioners Court. Although weather conditions have been dry throughout East Texas, it’s no drought, according to Emergency Management Coordinator Larry Shine. The Keetch-Bryam Drought Index for Polk County was 489 prior to Monday’s rain showers and state law dictates that statistical index be at 575 or more before local officials can institute a ban on aerial fireworks on private property. Last year’s severe drought prompted county officials to ban the sale or use of missiles with fins, sky rockets with sticks and certain other kinds of aerial fireworks due to the extreme drought. The law requires county officials to act by June 15 for the July 4 fireworks season. This green light does not apply within the City of Livingston, however. A city ordinance permanently prohibits the sale and/or discharge of fireworks within the city. Animal Shelter design Polk County Maintenance Department Supervisor Jay Burks presented commissioners with a proposal to begin offering minimal animal shelter facilities in Leggett at the former maintenance barn site. Commissioners tabled action Tuesday on the Burks’ proposal awaiting input from Sheriff Kenneth Hammack, who was attending a training conference out of town. Burks said this plan would offer some essential shelter operations but would hold costs down to $50,000 or less. “This would get us the concrete slab, floor drains and a septic system,” Burks said. “Then we would put in prefab cages and bolt them in place and come back and patch any holes before we build other kennels later. “This is a good start,” Burks said. “We can get a shelter up and running and later if conditions allow, we can build them the Taj Mahal.” “I doubt that,” Pct. 3 Commissioner Milt Purvis said. Burks added that the kennels will be shaded. A maintenance staff member was recently working at that site in the heat of the day and it “wasn’t intolerable” to him. Other potential upgrades would include separation pens for adoption areas and indoor holding areas. The shelter proposal will be put back on the agenda for further discussion at the next Commissioners Court meeting.