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Sandifer resigns from Groveton PD; City adopts budget for new fiscal year

By Chris Edwards

GROVETON – The Groveton City Council and Mayor Byron Richards accepted the resignation of Groveton Police Department Sergeant Shane Sandifer at its meeting on Monday evening. Officer Sandifer is leaving for a position with the City of Crockett's police department. His resignation became effective as of last Saturday.

In other business addressed at last Monday's meeting, Danny Hayes, a representative from KSA Engineering, was present to inform the council on news of the application submitted to TxDOT for the downtown sidewalk improvements. Hayes said that the application was revised and re-submitted. The total cost of the downtown sidewalks project is $923,224, with the city matching that with $11,437 upon the awarding of the grant. Hayes said that adjustments in the previous figures needed to be made, that TxDOT wanted the numbers "tightened up" . This is the City of Groveton's third application for the funding, and Mayor Byron Richards said "Hopefully this time we'll make it."

In other business, an item pertaining to zoning issues was tabled pending information from City Attorney Robert Flournoy, whom Mayor Richards could not reach for discussion.

Mayor Richards said it had recently come to his attention that some residents are not obtaining the correct permits for construction projects, and the council will discuss the matter when Flournoy is present. Mayor Richards later stated that a notice was placed in the Groveton News to remind residents of ordinances the city had adopted pertaining to new construction and remodeling of existing structures to comply with the building codes, proper permits and applications.

Mayor Richards said that Groveton Police Chief John Raiford will check on construction projects.

Under items of new business, the council adopted the city's official newspaper (Groveton News); the official bank depository (Citizens State Bank), and the tax rate of 0.966200 per $100 valuation for the next fiscal year. Council also adopted the budget for fiscal year 2017-18.
After conducting new business, Mayor Richards informed the council that he had received a letter from Entergy regarding the approval of an advanced "smart meter" system for the city.

Groveton EMS owners David Robison and Rowena Clark were present to thank the city for including a $1,000 per month subsidy in the new budget to help the ambulance service with its operating costs. "We truly, deeply appreciate the subsidy," Robison said. "It helps immensely."