Policy for Installation of Culverts Discussed in Van Zandt Commissioners Court Meeting
“It’s a good start, but not near enough.”
GRAND SALINE—The Van Zandt Commissioners meeting was held on September 16.
Discuss and consider accepting Pass Through Funds of $14,925.05 from ETCOG for 911 Recording Equipment in Van Zandt County S.O. Dispatch Office
Sgt. Tim Scharfenberg addressed the court explaining that ETCOG (East Texas Council of Governments) contacted the VZCSO, and was asked why they did not submit an application for the Pass Through Funds, because it was free money. Scharfenberg said the reason they didn’t was, because they weren’t aware this fund was even out there. Scharfenberg said the VZCSO have been scrambling to get this submitted; it was supposed to be done by September 1. It was later extended to October 1. Scharfenberg informed the Commissioner’s that these funds are only given by the ETCOG once a decade.
Commissioner Tim West asked County Auditor Sandy Hill, “What difference is this going to make if it’s free?” Hill said that she doesn’t have it budgeted in the budget. West replied that there wasn’t going to be anyone else budgeted. Hill responded that “we” have to pay for it first. West said he still thinks they should do it even if they have to pay for it first. Scharfenberg explained if the county will cut a check in the next few weeks, that is all they would have to submit to ETCOG. Hill responded that they normally don’t approve the bill unless they have the product received. The only way they can proceed is if the court gives her office permission to approve the bill without receiving the product. Hill asked Scharfenberg if this was a federal or state grant. Scharfenberg responded, “It’s not a grant. ETCOG is responsible for our 911 system, and for the 911 addresses. ETCOG is just trying to be nice to us, that is all they are trying to do. It is not a grant. It is nothing we had to apply for. It’s very easy, it’s just Pass Through Funds is all it is. You guys we are going to upgrade your 911 system, because we know that your recorder is old. It’s going to be another 10 years before this happens, we are going to try to work with you, trying to put this in.” West asked what the deadline was and Schargenberg said he has to have it invoiced and he has to have a check written to the company who is going to do the work by October 1. Hill told Schargenberg that if it is October 1, they will make this years deadline. She added, if the court will approve paying the invoice without receiving the product since she was the one responsible for signing off on the invoice saying they haven’t received the product yet. If the court will approve that, then there will be budget money for them this year.
A motion was made and seconded to accept the Pass Through Funds for $14,925.05 from ETCOG for the recording equipment authorizing Sandy Hill to move ahead and do the P.O. with the approval of Scott.
Discuss and consider adoption of Van Zandt County Holiday Schedule for FY2021
A motion was made and seconded to adopt the Van Zandt County Holiday Schedule for FY2021.
Discuss and consider the adoption of the Van Zandt County Fire Marshal Office Fee Schedule for FY2021
A motion was made and seconded to adopt the Van Zandt County Fire Marshal Office Fee Schedule for FY2021.
Discuss and consider the adoption of the Van Zandt County Sheriff and Constable Fee Schedule for FY2021
A motion was made and seconded to adopt the Van Zandt County Sheriff and Constable Fee Schedule for FY2021.
Discuss and consider modifying the Van Zandt County Rural Addressing Guidelines to read: (A road that has five or more addressable structures will be assigned a Private Road number similar to the County Road number system)
Commissioner Virgil Melton Jr. said with the growth of the county, more private roads are being asked for. Melton said right now there are 3 or more. To eliminate a lot of private roads and private addresses, and to help 911 keep up with addresses, as well as the Appraisal District, they would like to go with five or more addressable structures to be assigned a private road number.
A motion was made and seconded to increase from 3 to 5 addressable structures to be assigned a private road number.
Discuss and consider Van Zandt County’s Policy for Installation of Culverts in the County’s Right-of-Way
Melton said right now they proposed the permit cost would be $250 per culvert if the County installs with the applicant paying for the cover of the culvert. The applicant may hire the installation or set up install, however the applicant must adhere to the permit guidelines for installing the culvert which would be in the policy. Melton said this is just to make sure the culvert is installed properly and the drainage area is correct. West added, “the main reason for changing this is, number one, TXDot changed theirs to this policy about two years ago, they word it the same way we were doing, but they changed it and went with this type of policy which gets them out of the culvert installation process. And the reason it is becoming so important to us [sic] outside we would install 51 culverts for Precinct 4 since [sic]. And that is to keep our money up [sic] should be putting on the roads. Melton wanted to add that there could be an exception. For instance if a person is indigent and cannot afford the culvert, the county will step in and help situations like that.
Commissioner Keith Pearson spoke saying he would like to thank Commissioner Melton for doing this. He stated it is a good start, but not near enough. He mentioned with $250 they are still going in a hole. He added that he is totally against. The county is not here to put in culverts for any of “these people”, Pearson said to the Commissioners’. Pearson continued saying there is plenty of church organizations to pay for it or he would try to help them himself, but it is not the county’s responsibility. He continued that he would like to see them move to a point where they do not put the culverts in. He also wanted to address that they do not put in subdivisions as a current county policy. Pearson said regarding changing a culvert out, he doesn’t think they should ever do that. It is a very fine line of using public funds for private use, he said. In conclusion, Pearson said he is for this, because it is a good start.
Hill spoke to the Commissioners’ saying they will need to know who is going to keep up with the money. “There will have to be revenue lines set up”, she added. “Are they going to pay, who they are going to pay, where they are going to pay?” Hill said they are going to have to set up some kind of financial to work. Judge Don Kirkpatrick asked Hill what her suggestion would be. Hill responded that they would have some kind of cash drawer somewhere to let them collect the $250. Her office can count it, and be sure all the funds are being accounted for. Someone will have to collect the fees and be responsible. Hill let the court know they did not budget for this; it was new to her. She said they didn’t talk about this in budget workshops to budget for these funds.
A motion was made and seconded to implement this policy beginning Oct. 1.
Discuss and consider accepting donations of a culvert from Harris Trucking—Pct 3
A motion was made and seconded to accept donations of a culvert from Harris Trucking—Pct 3.
Discuss the Pecan Oaks Trail Subdivision on FM 47 North of Wills Point in Pct 3
A motion was made and seconded to table item 14.
Discuss and consider approval of FY20 Budget Amendments
A motion was made and seconded approval of FY20 Budget Amendments
Discuss and consider Monthly Reports submitted by various Offices and Departments of County Government and approval entry of same in the Court’s Minutes as a matter of record
A motion was made and seconded to approve the monthly reports.
Next meeting will be held on September 30.