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Wood County Commissioners Court

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Court seeks Lake Hawkins grant; Inmate medical service in limbo
By JOHN SPARKS

 Meeting Friday, September 21 in regular session, Wood County Commissioners approved a recommendation to apply for a foundation grant which could double funds for hydrilla control measures at Lake Hawkins and accepted an offer for a 60-day extension for medical/health services being provided by ETMC-Quitman to inmates at the Wood County Jail.

Commissioners hope to take advantage of a foundation grant program administered through the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation. The grant program known as "Pulling Together Initiative" could provide matching funds to the $25,000 budgeted by the court for ‘07-'08 to control invasive and noxious plant species at Lake Hawkins. Gary McKinley, executive director of the Wood County Industrial Commission, identified the grant program at the request of the court. He indicated in-kind expenditures such as chemical treatments by members of the Lake Hawkins Homeowners' Association and labor and expenses incurred by the Texas Parks and Wildlife (TP&W) personnel may also qualify for matching funds.

The initial on-line application for grant consideration is due next week. Judge Bryan Jeanes said he would coordinate the preparation of the application and asked for assistance from McKinley and Commissioner Roger Pace, Precinct-3. Both agreed to assist with Pace seeking participation from representatives of the Lake Hawkins Homeowners Association and from officials of the TP&W. Commissioner Pace reported he had met with the TP&W officials and members of the homeowners association last Saturday.

A formal plan would have to be submitted for the grant program in December.

Health care crisis at Jail?
ETMC has advised the court the hospital/health care firm would not submit a proposal to continue furnishing doctor/nurse health care services to inmates at the Wood County Jail. Dr. Betty Waddleton, who has been furnishing such services for the past six years, has withdrawn her name from renewal of the contract with the county. She cited increased patient load up from 100 per year to 300 per year, law suits (one still pending), communications problems with the sheriff's office and "personal and professional burnout" as reasons for her decision.

ETMC and Waddleton both pledged an extension of their service among inmates at the jail for sixty days (until November 20).

Commissioners thanked the firm and Dr. Waddleton for their past service and for the extension to that service.

The court then voted to advertise again for proposals for the service. These proposals will be opened at the October 19 meeting of the court.
In other health care provider matters, the court vote unanimously to discontinue the free clinic/referral program at the County Health Department which has been funded by the county for the past few years.

Jason Rushing benefit at Lake Hawkins
Commissioners approved a proposal by Precinct-3 Commissioner Pace to waive the entry fee at the county park on Lake Hawkins for a one-day benefit car show for Jason Rushing, a 24-year-old Hawkins area resident who has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. The benefit show, being organized by Carolyn Clark, (903) 316-0320, and Rodney Spence, 903 570-6542, is scheduled for October 20, 2007. Contributions can also be mailed to PO Box 6, Hawkins, Texas 75765.

A public hearing regarding the abandonment of approximately 654 feet of CR-1950 by the county drew objections from a property owner whose 4 acre tract is located at what will be the new termination of the road. Orville Hurley and his wife asked the commissioners to reject the proposal of their nephew Larry Hurley who owns an adjacent property. Larry Hurley, who would maintain the road as a drive into his property cited traffic and crime concerns in seeking the abandonment. The court split 3-2 with Judge Jeanes and Commissioner Pace voting against abandoning the road. The Upper Sabine Valley River Authority submitted a letter in support of the abandonment.

In other action, the Commissioners approved:
- Payment of claims in the amount of $285,266.24.
- Payroll in the amount of $245,204.92.
- Employee/dependent health claims of $85,344.10.
- Fee structure for sheriff's department and constables.
- Interlocal agreement with City of Mineola.
- Acceptance of monthly activities from Steve Bowser, constable precinct-1.
- Contract with Amazing Grants for administration of Texas Community Development Grant of $250,000 by Amazing Grants representing Ramey Water Service Company and authorize Judge Bryan Jeanes as signator. The grant requires $26,000 in matching funding by Ramey.
- Authorizing county judge to enter into a contract with Fontaine & Associates for engineering service for TCDP grant #727520.
- County judge, treasurer and auditor as signators for TCDP grant #727520 in support of Ramey Water Service Company.
- FY08 compensation schedule and position classification schedule.
- Service agreement with Kodak for microfilming in office of tax assessor/collector ($544 for one-year contract).
- Contract with East Texas Tourism Association for participation in the group's Vacation Guide for 2008 (cost of $295).
- Interlocal agreement with Texas Parks & Wildlife concerning cooperative purchasing of fuel (up to $7,000 per budget year up from $5,000 last year). The gasoline purchased is used by Game Wardens for vehicles and boats.
- Participation by county departments in disposal of surplus equipment at Vaughn Auction, Canton on Thursday October 4. Commissioner Jerry Galloway, Precinct-4 will be offering two pieces of equipment in the auction.
- Resolution of Intent to renew the Wood County Reinvestment Zone to offer abatement as an economic development incentive and set public hearing date of October 5. The county currently has two enterprise zones.
- Public hearing date of October 19 for revision of "Lake O' The Woods" subdivision.

Personnel actions approved included:
- Charlotte Jones, hourly increase, victim assistance coordinator, Criminal District Attorney' office, from $16.93/hour to $21.37/hour.
- Brittney Roberts, correction to hourly rate, auto deputy, Tax Assessor, from $7.25/hour to $7.50/hour.
- Alana Jalayne Robinson, family services coordinator, Criminal District Attorney's office, from 20.55/hour to $21.37/hour.
- Linda Maddox, separation-temporary employee period ended.

The next regular meeting of the Wood County Commissioners Court will be Friday, October 5 at 10 a.m. A special meeting of the court can be called with 72-hour public notice.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 April 2009 14:25  

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