|Trinity Standard - Local News
Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company
Commissioners eye purchase of annex buildings
Trinity Standard -
GROVETON – A plan to purchase the courthouse annex buildings in Groveton for $700,000 was presented Monday to Trinity County commissioners. Commissioners postponed action on the plan until their next meeting on Nov. 28 to give them time to study the proposal. During Monday’s meeting, Trinity County Judge Doug Page said he has been in negotiations with the buildings’ owner regarding the county buying the property and had come up with a plan. The county has been leasing what was originally five buildings on the south side of First Street (Highway 287) across the street from the courthouse and county jail. While the Trinity County Courthouse underwent a two-year, $5.4 million renovation, the county’s various departments moved into four of the buildings. The leasing of the fifth building was not connected with the courthouse restoration, but was approved to provide the Trinity County Sheriff’s Department with more office space. This move was considered a permanent relocation by the sheriff. To accommodate the county, the five buildings were renovated prior to the county moving in and all five are now inter-connected at the rear. Each of the five has a separate entrance off a covered walkway along Front Street. When the county moved back into the courthouse in August and September, the county clerk, county tax assessor-collector and the county emergency operations coordinator remained in the annex buildings. The county also has continued to use the district courtroom located in the annex. In his presentation to commissioners, Page noted that the county currently pays $8,238 per month to lease the annex. Under the plan to purchase the building, the county would agree to pay $700,000. It would be financed by the building’s owner at a 6.25 percent annual interest rate. The county’s monthly payment would drop to $6,004 and the building would be paid off by December 2026. The total purchase price, including interest payments, would be $1,080,720. Road hearing held During Monday’s meeting, commissioners held a public hearing on a petition to close Vann Road near Trinity. Pct. 3 Commissioner Cecil Webb said he has maintained the road since 1982 and that previous commissioners had maintained it prior to that date. Nelson Thornton and Karen Hare, who own property along the road, contend that road was never intended to be a public road and said if the county would close it, they would maintain it. They also noted they have never objected to other landowners traveling the road and would continue to provide access to them. Gary Gilbert, who recently purchased land at the end of the road, voiced his objections to closing the road noting. He told commissioners he plans to set up a cattle operation on his property. Following the hearing, the commissioners were asked by Page if they wanted to close the road and when no motion was offered, the matter died. This means that the status of the road was unchanged. Other business During the meeting, commissioners also: • Set a public hearing for 9 a.m. on Monday Nov. 28 on a proposal to allow the county to tax goods in transit through Trinity County. Page explained that this would apply to items warehoused in the county before being sent elsewhere and noted that unless the county acted by Dec. 1, such property would be exempt from county taxation. • Opened bids on new air conditioning units for the county’s Rock Building and jail as well as for new light fixtures for the Rock Building. The county has received a $57,576 grant for the project. After opening the bids, they tabled action to give Page and other courthouse officials a chance to study and compare them. • Received a suggestion from Larry Grant, an officials with the Trinity County Crime Stoppers, that the commissioners organize a meeting of all county and city law enforcement department to come up with a unified policy on high-speed vehicle pursuits. • Received a presentation from Frank Cowan of Trinity regarding a recycling facility opened in Trinity by Charles “Squeeky” Wade. He noted that the county and other government entities could make use of the facility to dispose of oil, aluminum, copper, scrap metal and other items. • Voted to hire the accounting firm of Todd, Hamaker and Johnson of Lufkin to conduct the annual audit of the county’s 2011 finances. The outside audit has been conducted for several years by Thomas Ramey of Trinity, who did not bid this year. Cost of the audit was listed at $23,500. • Voted to adopt the National Incident Management System (NIMS) as Trinity County’s standard for handling emergency incidents. Emergency Operations Coordinator Carl Dyer said this was the first step in setting up an independent emergency management system. At present, Trinity County operates under the “umbrella” of Polk County. By setting up their own system, Dyer said the county would be eligible for additional federal funding for equipment and training. “This is just the first of many steps that we will be taking to set up procedures under FEMA guidelines,” he told commissioners. • Adopted a resolution in support of the Deep East Texas Council of Government’s distribution of Hurricane Ike Recovery Funds. Under that plan, funds received during Round 2.2 by local governments can be transferred to another government in the same county or be sent back to DETCOG for reallocation within the region. The General Land Office has proposed a plan that would require any unused funding to be returned to the state for reallocation to programs outside of East Texas. Under Round 2.2, Trinity County is scheduled to receive $3,8 million, the City of Trinity would be given $1 million and the City of Groveton would get $400,000. • Adopted a resolution designating November as Home Care Month in Trinity County.