By Chris Edwards
WOODVILLE – The Tyler County Historical Commission received an award for its service at the Wednesday morning meeting of the Tyler County Commissioners Court.
Tyler County Judge Jacques Blanchette presented TCHC President Bob Morris with a certificate from the Texas Historical Commission recognizing TCHC for its distinguished service in the year 2017.
In a news release from Blanchette, the state historical commission’s Distinguished Service Award is used “to affirm county historical commissions that document ongoing, well-rounded programs of history and preservation-related projects that enrich local communities.”
Morris said “Our job is to maintain awareness of the history and culture of Tyler County.”
Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford and Stevan Sturrock of the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office urged commissioners to award a bid for repairs to four cell blocks at the Tyler County Jail.
The bid, which came from Integrity Steelworks for the amount of $112,140.16, will bring the jail “a major step in getting back into compliance,” Weatherford said.
Weatherford said the work detailed in the bid from the firm does not cover the electrical work and replacement of the communications system needed. “We’ll have to go out for another bid to replace the electrical and communication system,” Sturrock said.
County to participate in class action PILT lawsuit
Commissioners also voted for the county to participate in a class action lawsuit to recover federal payments from underpayments during fiscal years 2015-17.
Blanchette said the county was invited by a law firm to participate and it will “have an effect on Tyler County by about $2,000”.
“How this will work is when it’s settled they will take out their percentage and then they will distribute the remaining amount that is appropriate for Tyler County,” Blanchette said.
The money at the heart of the suit is from Big Thicket property in Tyler County, which is not taxed like other property in the county as it is federally owned. The federal government helps offset this loss through a program titled Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT).
At Wednesday’s regular meeting, commissioners also discussed the following items:
• The resignation of Mark Hatch as ESD #4 Commissioner was accepted. Krystal Redden was appointed to fill the vacancy.
• A bid for the sale and disposal of an accumulation of scrap metal was awarded to Southside Metal in Dam B. Southside will pick up and haul the materials off at a rate of $25 per ton from the county collection center.
• Commissioners voted to appoint a rating committee to develop the scope of work, review proposals and make a recommendation to the court for emergency management issues. Emergency management coordinator Ken Jobe said he, county auditor Jackie Skinner and Blanchette are currently on the committee and recommended it stay the same. Commissioners approved this recommendation.
• Commissioners voted to engage the services of Kay Timme to coordinate documents, contacts and research items regarding Texas Historical Commission directives to Tyler County. The position will be an hourly, temporary position, according to Blanchette.