|Trinity Standard - Local News
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County halts truck traffic
Trinity Standard -
GROVETON — An order halting thru truck traffic on two Trinity area roads was formally approved Monday by Trinity County commissioners. During their meeting in Groveton, the commissioners approved placing "No thru truck" signs on Jack Schaeffer Road and on a the southern portion of Trinlady Park Road. The move came after months of effort by Pct. 3 Commissioner Neal Smith, who told commissioners heavy truck traffic – including that from logging trucks – was damaging the paved portions of the roadway. "I've been trying to get something do about this since January," Smith said. "I need to protect my roads." Commissioners were set to act on the measure earlier this year but during a public hearing on the issue, representatives of the logging industry objected. It was noted that while the commissioners had the right to reroute truck traffic, they could not legally send it out of county onto roads they do not maintain. Under Smith's plan, the trucks would have been rerouted north on Trinlady Park but the last few hundred feet of that road are in Houston County. To solve that problem, Smith worked out an agreement with Houston County that allows him to maintain all of Trinlady Park Road. Under the order approved Monday, the no thru truck signs will be placed at the Jack Schaeffer Road-Highway 94 intersection, at the intersection of Jack Schaeffer and Trinlady Park roads and at 792 Trinlady Park Road where the pavement ends. Trucks accessing the area north of 792 Trinlady Park Road will have to enter and exit the road just north of the Trinity-Houston County line where it intersects with Highway 19. Nursing home concerns raised In other business, Avalon Place Nursing Center Administrator Sammy Gore appeared during the public forum portion of the meeting to raise concerns about another nursing home being proposed for the Trinity area. At previous meeting, Mike Davis of Sweet Neches Properties approached the court seeking assistance in gaining approval for additional Medicaid-funded beds for a nursing home he planned to build in the Trinity area. Sweet Neches Properties currently operates nursing homes in Jasper and Huntington. During Monday's meeting, Gore voiced concerns about the new nursing home and presented commissioners with letters from doctors serving both the Avalon Place and Groveton nursing homes as well as East Texas Medical Center-Trinity. "We are not afraid of the competition because we think competition is a good thing. What we are concerned about is health care and there are just not enough health care providers in Trinity County," he said. Gore said local nursing homes and the Trinity hospital are finding it difficult to hire local nurses and certified nurses aids to staff the existing facilities. They now have to hire staffing agencies that rotate out-of-county practitioners to the local facilities. "Adding another nursing home is going to add to the problem," he said. Because the matter was not on the meeting's agenda, commissioners were not asked to take any action on Gore's concerns but promised to take them into consideration during future action. Other business During the meeting, commissioners also: • Approved tax refunds for the overpayment of taxes. Based on a change in property values by the Trinity County Appraisal District, Jack F. Ward was refunded $2,391.62 for tax years 2011 and 2012 while Lois Barrett was refunded $1,034.54 for an adjustment in 2012. • Voted to nominate County Judge Doug Page, Tom Holcombe and Carl Dyer to serve on the Trinity County Tax Appraisal District's board of directors. The county as well as the cities of Trinity and Groveton and all local school districts have until Oct. 2 to nominate people to serve on the five-member board. A ballot with all of the nominees will then be returned to the tax collecting entities and they will have until Nov. 30 to vote. • Voted to proclaim October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Trinity County.