By Chris Edwards
Establishing safety measures on county roads was chief among the items on the agenda for the Trinity County Commissioners Court at its Monday, May 11 meeting at the Trinity County Courthouse in Groveton.
County Judge Doug Page opened the courtroom to the public for a hearing concerning Lake "L" Drive in the Lake "L" Estates subdivision in order to determine reasonable and safe speeds on the road. The speed limit of 25 mph had been recommended prior to the hearing, and Judge Page closed the hearing a minute after opening it, at 9:31 a.m., with no one present to voice concerns on the matter.
Following the hearing, a series of directives were addressed for setting the speed for the subdivision, as well as the installation of speed limit and stop signs. Questions arose among the commissioners about the legality of establishing a weight load limit along the road as well as the wording of some of the directives. One of the parts of the item of business involved installing "pass with care" signs along the road at points where passing would not be hindered by limited sight distances. County Attorney Joe Bell said that there were no points along Lake "L" Drive which are safe for vehicles to pass one another.
The commissioners approved the establishment of a speed limit of 25 mph within the subdivision; installing a 25,000-lb. weight load limit along Lake "L" Drive; putting up "Do Not Pass" signs in both directions along the road and establishing a three-way stop at Lake "L" Drive and Darrell Hall Drive, along with the installation of two additional stop signs at that intersection.
The commissioners also set a hearing to take place during their first meeting in June, on Monday, June 8, to determine a reasonable or safe speed limit for Willis Road, which was recommended as 25 mph by Constable Reggie Olive.
In other business, Trinity County was awarded a Gold Star Safety Award from the Texas Association of Counties. Risk control consultant Isaac Garcia was on hand to present the commissioners and Judge Page with the award. He thanked the officials for helping "promote a good safety culture," and said that although loss ratios are just numbers, it takes a lot of effort to achieve a county-wide extremely low loss ratio.
Long-serving Trinity County DETCOG representative Bell was appointed to serve on the organization's Board of Directors for another term, for 2015-16. Following his re-appointment, Precinct 3 Commissioner Neal Smith expressed interest in seeking more DETCOG grant monies for projects within Trinity County and asked Bell for a list of the different types of grants the organization awards.
The commissioners approved a moving forward with necessary litigation to enforce a nuisance abatement lien against a property in Trinity, which was last owned by Mae Lyness Coborn. Smith and Bell gave some background information on the case and said that all correspondence from the county to Coborn have gone without response in regard to the matter.
In other business:
•A bond of $5,000 was approved for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3 employee Tammy Stone-Pursley.
•Bids for several tax resale properties from Chief Appraiser Gary Gallant were all approved.
•Updates for grant-funded construction projects were given by Precinct 2 Commissioner Rich Chamberlin.
Chamberlin said that some roads within Precincts 1 and 3 were all that remained from the CETRZ grant-funded projects, and he is awaiting loads of rock to be delivered. Chamberlin also noted that according to county records, there are 382 or 383 county roads that are maintained in Trinity County, which contrasts the figure of 379 given in TxDOT's inventory file. The commissioners agreed to draft a letter to correct this information.