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Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - March 2009
Copyright 2008 - Polk Count
y Publishing Company

Commissioners honor retiring county clerk
Polk County Enterprise - March 2009
LIVINGSTON — Praise and thanks were given to Barbara Middleton on Tuesday during the scheduled Commissioner’s Court meeting. Middleton was awarded a plaque in recognition of her 22 years of service to Polk County and the City of Livingston. “Barbara is moving on to the next chapter in her life,” County Judge John Thompson said. “She has spent a lot of time working for the county. When she fi rst started this was a sleepy little town.” Middleton has won numerous awards for the county and for herself over the years, but seemed eager to retire from the fast pace. “We made it and persevered all these years,” Middleton said. “They just put more and more on the county clerk and there’s no place to have it. I am proud that I have served and proud that the people elected me.” Other items on the agenda: Commissioners made no decision on the county-wide burn ban. The fi re restriction is not currently in place and they will revisit the situation as necessary in future meetings. Partnership Specialist for the Dallas Regional Census Center, Kyle Mence said he has held the fi rst training meeting for local census workers and he is “confi dent we will get out and count all people residing in Polk County.” Mence said it is important to count everyone because those not counted equate to funding lost. Judge Thompson said, “whatever the number, we will be stuck with it for 10 years. A number too low could mean not hundreds of thousands, but millions of dollars missed out on.” He went on to say this affects all levels of county and local government and even school districts. The commissioners will make a proclamation in the coming weeks declaring the month of April be child abuse prevention month. The county coffers are growing, according to independent auditor Robert Belt of Sadersen, Knox and Belt LLP. “The county is very healthy in terms of its fund balance this year,” Belt said. Reserve funds are necessary in times of need. Judge Thompson said, “We want to try to keep about 90 days worth on hand.” The county has around $5 million in reserve. Judge Thompson praised Belt’s work to increase Polk County’s bond rating. “Our bond rating was at its lowest point possible when Robert took over,” Thompson said. “We have had two or three increases in rating since deciding to grow the fund balance.”



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