Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - March 9, 2008 - March 16, 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company

Early voting slated for sheriff’s runoff
Trinity Standard - March 2008

TRINITY – Early voting for the April 8 Democratic Party runoff election between Sheriff Steven Jones and challenger Brent Lee will run from Monday, March 31, through Friday, April 4.
Early voting by personal appearance will be held at the Trinity City Hall, the Trinity County Courthouse in Groveton and the Apple Springs Volunteer Fire Station.
Voting hours will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
According to Trinity County Democratic Chairman Fredie Chapman, only voters who voted in the March 4 Democratic primary or those who did not vote at all are eligible to cast ballots on April 8. Those who voted in the Republican Party primary may not participate in the runoff election.
During the March 4 ballot, Lee received 2,046 votes, or 42.6 percent of the total cast. Jones garnered 1,890 votes or 39.3 percent to finish in second.
The third candidate in the race, Pct. 2 Constable Richard “Ricky” Hortman finished with 871 votes or 18.1 percent and did not qualify for the runoff.
Under the rules of the election, a candidate must receive more than 50 percent of the vote in order to win the party’s nomination for the office.
The winner of the April 8 runoff vote will advance to the November general election. Because there is no Republican candidate for sheriff, the Democratic Party nominee is expected to be unopposed in November.
Chapman also announced that on Tuesday, April 8, the county’s 19 polling places will be combined into eight locations. Voting hours on election day will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The following is a listing of the combined box locations:
• Box 1 will vote at Groveton High School.
• Boxes 2, 3 & 14 will vote at the Box 2 locate at Chita Baptist Church.
• Boxes 11 and 17 will vote at the Box 17 location at the Trinity Community Center.
• Boxes 4, 5 & 19 will vote at the Box 19 location at Trinity City Hall.
• Boxes 6 & 12 will vote at the Box 6 location at the Friday Community Center.
• Boxes 7 & 15 will vote at the Box 15 location at Possum Walk Church.
• Boxes 8, 9 & 18 will vote at the Box 9 location at the Apple Springs Volunteer Fire Station.
• Boxes 10, 16 and 20 will vote at the Box 16 location at the Baldwin Chapel Church.

Scope of the work
The three-story red brick courthouse was completed in 1914. Under the grant, the building’s exterior will be restored to its original appearance.
While efforts will be made to preserve the historical appearance of the interior, architects have noted the renovation will provide the county with a modern, functional office building.
An elevator connecting all three floors will be installed, new mechanical and electrical systems will be added and new telephone and internet lines will be put into place.
Additional security features also will be added and for the first time a sprinkler and fire alarm system will be installed. The plumbing system also will be reworked and handicapped accessible restrooms will be added.
The lighting design will include reproduction of historic pendant fixtures in the corridors and modern, energy efficient fixtures in the offices.
The fireplace in the old county clerk’s office (now used by the county attorney) that was damaged by fire in 2005 also will be restored.
In the second-floor district courtroom, the false ceiling will be removed and the existing decorative plaster and historical light fixtures in the vaulted ceiling will be restored.
Also included will be an emergency power generator.

Temporary offices needed
During another meeting held on Thursday, March 12, commissioners continued their discussion on finding office space to house the county’s departments while the courthouse renovation is underway.
While possible locations for departments have been kicked around in pervious discussions, the commissioners agreed Thursday to name Pct. 2 Commissioner Jannette Hortman and County Auditor Sheila Johnson to a committee to make recommendations for temporary office space.
Evans noted that he also would assist with the committee’s work.
Under the plan, the committee will determine the needs of the various departments – including the district court and commissioners court – and then seek out possible temporary space for them in Groveton.

Other action
During the special meetings last week, commissioners also:
• Vote to open 400 feet of Port Boulevard in the Port Adventure Subdivision as a county road. The section will run from the intersection with FM 356 and will include the wooden bridge that now provides access into the development. Under the plan outlined by Pct. 1 Commissioner Grover “Tiger” Worsham, the county will now ask the Texas Department of Transportation to inspect the bridge and to place it on the list for the state’s off-system bridge program. Under this program, TxDOT replaces county-owned bridges with modern concrete and steel structures like those found on Farm to Market highways.
• Approved a plat for Section 1 of the Eaglewood Subdivision in Precinct 3.


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