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San Jacinto News-Times - Local News
Stories Added - July 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company

Police chief hired
San Jacinto News- Times - July 2008

SHEPHERD – Railroad crossties, treated with creosote, were being unearthed by a City of Shepherd backhoe operator Tuesday after city offi cials had them buried over one month ago, according to City Secretary Donna Pitrucha. City offi cials decided to keep the crossties for future use following the cleanup of a train wreck in downtown Shepherd around 2002. After cluttering city property over the years, during a recent city cleanup, city offi - cials decided to bury them on city property located on Railroad Avenue, across the street from one of the city’s three water wells.

Concerns from area residents about the burial of the crossties close to city water well drew investigator Kristie Lemmons from Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCOEQ) to Shepherd this month. “The city will have to remove the crossties and take them to an authorized disposal facility,” Lemmons said Tuesday. Prior to Lemmon’s arrival, Pitrucha said the city had already started taking steps to get the crossties removed. “We are in the process of comparing prices for dumpsters to haul the crossties to an authorized disposal site,” Pitrucha said.

Although the crossties were buried close to a city water well, Pitrucha said there is no danger to the well from contamination. Lemmons, however, said she can’t be sure about contamination from the crossties. “I didn’t see them (crossties) prior to them being buried,” she said, adding that as they decompose they become more toxic. “Even so, it would take years to make its way to a well, if at all.” “The city was ordered to remove the crossties because they are not permitted as a landfi ll so they have no authorization to bury waste,” Lemmons said.

Pitrucha said as long as the city disposes of the crossties and shows TCEQ proof of their work there will be no fi ne issued to the city for the illegal burial.

Police chief hired During last Monday night’s city council meeting, Chris Simmons was hired as police chief of the City of Shepherd. Simmons, who worked as a deputy constable with Pct. 2 Constable Jerry Everitt, unoffi cially started his new job Monday at Shepherd City Hall where he is getting his offi ce in order and waiting for a patrol car, uniforms and paper work to be completed.

 

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