By Chris Edwards
GROVETON – Trinity County Commissioners continued to discuss the proposed county budget for fiscal year 2018 at the regular meeting of the Commissioners' Court on Monday, September 11.
Before launching a budget workshop during the meeting, the officials present discussed a few changes made to the proposed budget and approved the order of salaries for elected officials in the county.
County Auditor Bonnie Kennedy called to the commissioners' attention some revisions made to the budget due to calculating errors on a previous draft, errors which had since been corrected. Kennedy also noted that in the current draft of the budget, monies had been transferred from the general fund into the individual precincts in order to offset lost income from different sources, such as the Forest Service funds.
In other business on the court's agenda, Kennedy reported on the resignation of assistant auditor Dan Fuller. Following Fuller's departure, Kennedy noted that part-time accounts payable employee Deanna Weathers will be re-classified as a part-time assistant auditor.
Sheriff Woody Wallace gave his report to the court, and made note of his department's monthly breakfast, which is held on the first Monday of each month in the Trinity County Courtroom Annex, and is held on a donation basis for the meal. Sheriff Wallace told the court that the September breakfast netted around $316 to go toward the Sheriff's Department Belt Buckle Bash Program.
Sheriff Wallace brought a deal before the court to consider, the possible purchase of a bus from Clifton Chevrolet in Corrigan. Sheriff Wallace noted that the van used currently by his department has over 200,000 miles on it, and does not have near the passenger capacity of the bus, which has a 28-person capacity. The bus is being sold at a price of $12,500, and Sheriff Wallace asked the commissioners to consider its purchase. He noted that although he hasn't encountered any problems yet with the van, problems could arise in the near future due to its high mileage.
Several items on the commissioners' agenda dealt with roads within the county, matters that have arisen due to the 911 addressing protocols. Commissioners discussed, and approved the removal of Spring Road in Precinct #4 from the 911 addressing map. The road was determined to be a private road, and not maintained by the county. According to Precinct #4 Commissioner Jimmy Brown, there are no characteristics that actually define it as an actual road (e.g. a sign).
Public hearings were conducted to change the name of a road in Precinct #2; to correct an error in the county road map pertaining to a road in Precinct #1, and to correct the spelling of Sulfur Creek Road. As to the matter of the road in Precinct #2, a segment of Lakeway Drive in the Westwood Shores subdivision was changed to Westpoint Drive in order to comply with the 911 addressing protocols.
The hearing over the road in Precinct #1 was to correct an error on the county road map to confirm that Cook Road has been and is a county-maintained road, and to change the name of the road to Bill Cook Lane. Precinct #1 Commissioner Grover "Tiger" Worsham noted that this was necessary because of the name, that there is already a Cook Road elsewhere in the county. The change went approved with a motion from Commissioner Worsham and a second by Precinct #3 Commissioner Neal Smith.
No action was taken on the last hearing dealing with roads on the agenda. The hearing was intended to correct the spelling of Sulfur Creek Road to "Sulphur Creek Road" as well as a change of spelling for Old Sulfur School Road to "Old Sulphur School Road." Some debate ensued over the spelling variances and what was an acceptable spelling for the roads, but ultimately no action was taken.
Another public hearing was set for the Commissioners' Court meeting of Monday, October 10, to change the name of Kennedy Boulevard in Precinct #3 to Mattie Thelma Rosser Road.
Commissioners decided to pass on an item that involved Trinity County becoming a member of TEX-21, a collective, grassroots effort to improve the transportation infrastructure in Texas and Oklahoma. Judge Doug Page said that more information was needed on the organization, and whether or not it would be of any benefit to the county.