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Commissioners discuss delinquent payments, radio tower

By Chris Edwards

Trinity County Commissioners discussed making good on an outstanding bill with electrical contractors Ludco Inc. at their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, July 27 at the county courthouse in Groveton.

Raymond Vann, Jr. from Raymond K. Vann and Associates was present to inform county officials of the situation involving communication between the county and the GLO to reimburse Ludco for work, which was done last year. Vann said Ludco had been "extremely patient" while he has communicated with the GLO in Austin, during which he said "endless emails" have been exchanged, as well as phone calls and face-to-face meetings. Vann acknowledged Ludco vice president Phil Mahar, who was present at the meeting, and said he'd referenced Mahar as someone who would contact state agencies and heads of agencies in order to expedite payment for his firm.

After some discussion, it was suggested that Ludco be paid its outstanding monies owed from the county general fund and that the county would deal with GLO in getting its reimbursement. This was approved with a motion from Commissioner Grover "Tiger" Worsham of Precinct 1 and followed by a second from Precinct 3 Commissioner Neal Smith.

In other business, the commissioners approved a bond of $5,000 for Jeanette Vasquez, an employee of the county clerk's office.

County officials heard a presentation from Jennifer Woychesin of the county attorney's office to apply for a Victim Coordinator grant application amendment from the VA Victims of Crime Act Formula Governor Grand Program for Trinity County. If granted, the funding would be an amount of $40,000 from the state to be matched at a sum of $10,000 by the county. Woychesin stated a need for the funds to help victims of crime, that the county attorney's office didn't have the funds to help them as much as needed. The application for the grant was approved by the commissioners.

The commissioners decided to move forward with gathering information concerning the ETMC communications tower. Earlier, in June, the commissioners were approached by a representative of ETMC about the possibility of the county purchasing the radio tower, which was erected in 2010. The amount quoted at the June 11 meeting was $400,000. The funds were determined to be unavailable for the amount ETMC quoted and the officials discussed other possibilities, such as seeking DETCOG funds and negotiating a lower figure (after researching the value of the tower). The decision to move forward to gather more information was initiated by a motion from commissioner Worsham. Judge Doug Page provided a second, voting in place of Precinct 2 Commissioner Richard Chamberlin, who was absent. Commissioner Smith objected to the decision, but the motion carried.

A hearing was conducted to discuss the re-opening of the Old Sulfur School Road, a stretch of about two-fifths of a mile. No one was present to speak during the hearing and it was closed to move to the next item on the agenda, which was to discuss and act on re-opening the road. Commissioner Worsham, who had spoken about the road before, had said he had no recollection of the road ever being a county-maintained road. He motioned to re-open the road with Commissioner Smith providing a second to approve the action.

The county also approved an extension of contract number 70268.30 with Bancorp South, which would also authorize the county auditor to execute the document.

With no further business on its agenda, the court adjourned after Commissioner Worsham made a motion to adjourn with Commissioner Smith providing a second.