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Stories Added - September 2009
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County approves $15 fee to assist family violence victims
Polk County Enterprise - September 2009
BY CHARLES K. FRANKLIN
LIVINGSTON — It’s going to cost more to get a divorce in Polk County. Commissioners approved a request by District Clerk Kathy Clifton to add a $15 familyprotection fee that will be used to help fund government and nonprofit programs aimed at keeping families together, and those that assist victims of domestic violence. “This fee could go to Childrenz Haven, or other similar charitable organizations that help family members who have suffered from domestic abuse,” Clifton said. “There were just over 3,000 divorces in Polk County in 2008. That number does not include anullments, which would not be subject to this fee.” The measure will add an additional $45,000, more or less, to the county coffers where it can be distributed to the programs most in need of the money.
The petitioner who files for the divorce is the person responsible for the added fee. Bid deadline for second phase of jail expansion project pushed back one week Phase one of the jail-expansion project is well under way. Subcontractors are excavating and filling as necessary so the foundation can be put in place. “We are doing site work now as evidenced by all the dirt work,” J.E Kingham Construction Project Manager John Johnston said. “We’re moving a lot of dirt and they’re doing a good job.” The dirt work is part of phase one of the project. Phase two will begin when all the dirt work is completed. Johnston said crews are beginning to put “blue tops” in some places, a sign the dirt is almost at finished grade.
J.E. Kingham Construction is requesting bids for phase two of the project. The deadline had been set for Sept. 10 but it was delayed last Friday because an addendum to the plans was sent out. The new deadline will be Sept. 17, at 2 p.m. All qualified bidders are encouraged to contact Kingham’s Nacogdoches office at 936-564-3329. “We expect a lot of interest, and we want a lot of interest,” Johnston said. “Being on, or under, budget has to do with the amount of interest and the quality of the bids we get.” FM 2665 extension renamed FM 2665 North With the new bridge over Hwy. 59 in Goodrich now completed and open for drivers to use, attention has been turned to the 9-1-1 addressing along the newly constructed FM 2665 extension that connects to FM 1988 on the east side of the bridge. The road had previously tied directly into Hwy. 59, but was rerouted when the bridge was built.
That intersection was the location of many wrecks and a good number of fatalities including at least one volunteer fireman. It was redirected to FM 1988 as a much safer means of funneling those drivers onto, or over, Hwy. 59. The only problem now is the addressing for FM 2665 begins where the road used to tie in to Hwy. 59. There are no addresses for the new extension and in fact the road didn’t even have a proper name. Commissioners took care of all of that with one piece of business on Tuesday. The FM 2665 extension was renamed FM 2665 North and the stub that dead-ends at Hwy. 59 was renamed Sam Parker Road. “Ms. Parker still lives on that road,” Precinct 1 Commissioner Bob Willis said.
“I visited with her and she said it was fine to do that.” FM 2610 to be renamed Lance Corporal Richard A. Anderson Highway Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 8953 out of Romayor, in Liberty County, has requested FM 2610 be renamed Lance Corporal Richard A. Anderson Highway in honor of Anderson who was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery during the Vietnam War. Anderson was born in Washington, D.C., on April 16, 1948 and graduated from M.B. Smiley High School in Houston in 1966. In 1968, after a year and a half of college, Anderson enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and was shipped off to the Far East where he served with Sub Unit #1, Provisional Service Battalion, 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade, according to VFW Post 8953 Quartermaster Lee Harstad.
He was reassigned to the 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam in November 1968. He started out as a rifleman and was later given the duties of Assistant Fire Team Leader with Company E, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, according to Harstad. On Aug. 24, 1969, while participating in combat approximately 12 miles northwest of Vandergrift Combat Base in Quang Tri Province, he was mortally wounded, Harstad commented. Richard Anderson’s father, Tex Anderson, was one of the 47 founding members of VFW Post 8953 and served during World War II. He lived just north of Ace.
Post Commander Bobby Hodgin, a former tank commander and Purple Heart recipient during the Korean War plans to hold a dedication ceremony for Veterans Day this year. FM 2610 connects Ace, which is in Polk County to Hwy. 146 and runs south into Liberty County. The road continues to FM 787 in Romayor. It serves Post 8953 in Romayor and many of its members, according to Harstad. Liberty County has already approved the name change for the section of roadway in its county. The posts itself is designed to become a shelter for evacuees in times of emergency. “We bought a generator second to none and it will be up and running when the power fails,” Harstad said. “It will serve as a shelter in the event of a disaster. Should people need help we’ll be able to help them. If they need it for a week we’ll have it up and running for a week.” Harstad said the South Polk County residents in need of shelter are welcome to come to the VFW Hall if they need to. He said the county line has never divided those communities before and it certainly wouldn’t be an issue in the wake of a disaster.
Consent Agenda The consent agenda was approved in its entirety and it includes: • Budget amendments • An order setting elected officials salaries, expenses and allowances for the 2010 fiscal year (FY2010). • Receive certified orders of the two district judges that serve Polk County setting the compensation and allowances of court reporters, bailiffs. county auditor and assistant auditors for FY2010. • Amend the community services contract between the Department of Aging and Disability Services and Polk County Aging Services related to the FY2010 budget for the home delivered meals program. • Consider renewal of the annual firefighting agreement with the City of Livingston. • Consider approval of annual renewal of a lease agreement with Molly Locke for office space in the M.G. Reily Humanitarian Building in Corrigan. • Consider renewal of agreement with Integrated Data Services for County Clerk’s Imaging software maintenance for FY2010. • Consider approval of letter of agreement with construction code consultants renewing services to perform safety inspections and fire safety inspections at a rate of $50 each. • Consider approval of annual maintenance contracts for certain copiers. • Consider resolution supporting aging services application for the Texas Department of Agriculture’s home delivered meal grant program for FY2010.