By Mollie LaSalle
Colmesneil City Council passed a resolution proclaiming April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in the city at its regular meeting April 10.
Mike McCulley, with the Woodville Police Department, and Paula Gibbs, with the Tyler County District Attorney's office, were present and spoke on behalf of the Tyler County Child Welfare Board about the work they are doing to prevent child abuse and neglect in the county. McCulley and Gibbs are long-term members, and they thanked the council for passing the proclamation, as it helps in their effort to get the word out.
McCulley said,"172 children died last year as a result of abuse in the state of Texas, down from the previous year. The main objective of the board is to help one child at a time, and currently, there are 26 children in foster care in the county, either awaiting placement with other family members, remaining in foster care, or awaiting placement in residential treatment facilities. It is an important ministry for us, and we are doing all we can to help these children."
One of the programs the board sponsors is the Angel Tree program at Christmas which served almost 400 children last year. This is a painstaking mission which takes a lot of time to co-ordinate. The program serves not only the children in foster care, but also underprivileged children in the county.
Council members asked McCulley about the status of the now closed Sinclair Center in Woodville. McCulley replied "the property has been purchased by an unnamed individual who has previously worked with Girl's Haven in Beaumont and is in the process of getting a license to get the facility re-opened, sometime later this year.' He further added that" the public will have the opportunity to ask questions and voice their concerns about what the facility is and what they are going to be doing." There will be an announcement in the local press about the date and time for the public forum.
In other business, council approved minutes form the previous meeting, financial and investment reports, office, and water and sewer reports for February and March. Mayor Don Baird had the audit report for fiscal year 2017 available for council to read and review, as the representatives for Todd, Hamaker, and Johnson were not present for the meeting.
Baird, council member Billy Andrus, and city secretary Mandy Pattillo will attend a budget seminar/workshop in Beaumont in June, and Pattillo is slated to attend a grant writing seminar in San Antonio in early May.
Baird closed out the meeting by thanking everyone who helped him celebrate his 90th birthday in February. Baird was honored for his many years in public service by U.S. Representative Brian Babin and Lucas Babin, who won the Republican primary in March for the office of Tyler County District Attorney.