|Trinity Standard - Local News
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Appraisal District asks for repairs
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY — The Trinity County Appraisal District is hoping to have some repairs done to it's Groveton building this year. With mortar loss between the bricks on the building the structure could loose it's integrity and potentially harm someone. A fire of many years ago, to the building that used to sit next to the Appraisal District's building, is what initially caused the loss of mortar. Once the mortar became weak and started to loosen, it was only a matter of time before it needed to be replaced. Chief Appraiser, Gary Gallant, was present at the regular session of Commissioner's Court held on June 9, to present the plan to the Court. As he asked for additional funds for the repairs he also gave an outline of his 2015 budget. The Trinity County Appraisal District has managed to have additional monies throughout the years to the extent that they are actually making reimbursement payments to the County each year. During an audit conducted by Sheila Johnson, Trinity County Auditor, the extra monies were found and the board agreed to reimburse the monies to the county, with the exception of the repairs needed for the building. This year they made a reimbursement of $44,284, they are asking for $20,000 of it back for the repairs. The board has a meeting slated for Monday night, June 9, to further discuss the repairs and to accept the quotes given. Trinity County Appraisal District has quotes from local contractors for the repairs needed. They recommend pouring concrete to stabilize the wall, add mortar and apply stucco covering the wall for extra support. This will cost the Appraisal District roughly $60,000. Commissioners took no action at this time. They will slate the subject until after the board meeting has been held. County Judge, Doug Page, commends Mr. Gallant for being early with his budget for the 2015 fiscal year. Trinity County does own the building for the Trinity County Appraisal District in Groveton and is liable for any consequences that may occur due to the problematic wall. Public Forum During the meeting the public forum was held and Kim Holmes, a resident in Lake L Subdivision, was present to be heard. Mainly complaining of the terrible shape of the roads in Lake L, he also wanted to add the idea of having ditches dug with the Hurricane Ike 2.2 Grant Funding. Holmes asked simply 'why is the road grated 'flat''. A superb question since the main problem in Lake L Subdivision is drainage. Commissioner Smith noted the concerns of hitting the water lines that, so far, are difficult to find. He also noted how the residents of Lake L are very adamant at keeping the county from tying their yard into the road. Holmes, agreed that the roads were going off-course and beginning to soak into peoples yard. He also explained this occurrence with the improper way it has been grated for so many years. When the conversation between Holmes and Commissioner Smith began to get heated, Commissioner Chamberlin interrupted with, "We agree the road conditions in Lake L Subdivision are poor to say the least. They have been my top priority since I took office and it has been an ongoing struggle with attempts to obtain grants to fix them." Commissioner Chamberlin, again, tried to explain the plan for the funds of the grant. The long waited release of funds is extremely difficult to explain. The road plans are not. A contractor with the State of Texas explained to Chamberlin, after reviewing all the facts, the best way to cover all bases is to build the road up, instead of digging new ditches. In hopes to end up with ditches and a drainage system in the long run, the plan will also eliminate the issue with the water lines. A special session of Commissioner's Court was held on May 19, to discuss the Hurricane Ike 2.2 grant findings and hopefully determine when funds should be received. Supposedly, funds are to be released to City projects the first week in June, since the grant funding is technically for Hurricane preparation, those projects will have funds released first. The VFW Post 6899 and Dorcas Wills Memorial Baptist Church have projects within the grant, allowing better shelter options within the City of Trinity. Trinity County is expected to have their funds released the first weeks in July. Commissioners are not holding their breath but are hoping to have this grant resolved soon. In Other News CPA, Kim Johnson, has performed an internal audit on the county. Although, she has no large findings, she did show where some monies from the General Fund were unaccounted for. She suggested that maybe budget amendments that required extra funds were taken from the General Fund and not logged into the system properly. She also noted that some findings showed where the budget for the current fiscal year, in some years, was closed before additional amendments were made, logging those amendments into the following year. This can cause serious controversies leaving the transaction and amount debatable. Kim Johnson made note that the manner in which the Justice of the Peace Offices have been giving refunds back to the county is illegal. She suggests having the Justice Offices' bank accounts in the name of Trinity County and having checks signed and authorized by the auditor and treasurer to stay with in the law. Sheila Johnson also notes, that this would eliminate the ability for a Justice of the Peace to deny her the right to audit their books, since the new account will be in the name of Trinity County. Joe Bell, County Attorney, argues this suggestion stating that Justices handle restitution payments and regardless of how it has been done in the past, these payments are not allowed to go back into the county. He suggests two separate accounts in order to keep restitution separate from county money.