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updated 1:55 PM UTC, Apr 8, 2019


Red Cross Month proclaimed countywide

County Judge Jacques Blanchette (center) presents a proclamation of March as Red Cross Month in Tyler County, along with commissioners and other elected officials. Annette and John Stagg from the Red Cross were on hand to represent the organization. (CHRIS EDWARDS | TCB PHOTO)County Judge Jacques Blanchette (center) presents a proclamation of March as Red Cross Month in Tyler County, along with commissioners and other elected officials. Annette and John Stagg from the Red Cross were on hand to represent the organization. (CHRIS EDWARDS | TCB PHOTO)


By Chris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – County Judge Jacques Blanchette presented a proclamation denoting March as Red Cross Month in Tyler County at Monday morning’s meeting of the Tyler County Commissioners Court.

John and Annette Stagg were on hand, representing the American Red Cross. The Staggs have served a multiple-county region for the organization and have been deployed in numerous disaster relief efforts through the past decade, as Blanchette noted.

Sealed bids approved
Commissioners approved the awarding of sealed bids for properties struck off the tax rolls by Woodville ISD, Warren ISD, Colmesneil ISD and the hospital district.

The bids, which came to the court from the Linebarger Law Firm, which serves as a tax collection firm for the county, were approved from bid amounts already approved by the respective entities, Pct. 1 Commissioner Martin Nash said.

Courthouse Remediation Agreement passed on agenda
One of the items on Monday morning’s agenda up for action was to authorize Blanchette to execute the Courthouse Remediation Agreement with the Texas Historical Commission. The item was passed, pending more meetings and information concerning the project.

A meeting is scheduled for 8 a.m. on Thursday, March 26 to approve the authorization of Blanchette to execute the agreement with THC.

Another agenda item concerning the work of restoring the courthouse was to engage the services of a preservation architect to fulfill the responsibilities THC requires for the project. This item was approved by the commissioners.

“We can go ahead and take action on this because it’s the eventuality,” Blanchette said. “This at least acknowledges to the historical commission that we’re taking our next step.”

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Chester passes resolution supporting 2A rights

by Michael G. Maness

CHESTER – The City of Chester passed a resolution supporting Second Amendment rights at its regular council meeting on the evening of Monday, March 4.

Mayor Floyd Petri forwarded the resolution to clarify the city’s support for the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution in response to recent efforts in the United States and Texas congresses. The resolution supports the Second Amendment text granting citizens the right to bear arms and to double up on the duty of congress persons to fulfill their “Oath of office to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.”

The resolution begins with noting how several bills and ordinances have been proposed and passed throughout the country, and they consider “all laws, bills” supporting “Gun Control and/or Red Flag Laws” as infringing “upon the people’s right to keep and bear arms.”

The council unanimously passed the resolution that “any form of Gun Control and/or Red Flag Laws to be a violation of an elected official’s Oath of Office.”

For restrictions, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee just passed H.R. 8 that would criminalize the private transfer of guns—even the loaning of a gun to a neighbor—and HR 1112 that enhances background checks. Both bills will head to the full House, and both are expected to fail in the Senate.
In Texas, HB 131 forwards a Red Flag law, HB 1164 would restrict open carry in larger cities, HB 1207 would criminalize a failure to report a stolen gun, and HBs 1236 and 1173 will allow universities to opt out as they please. HB 1231 would repeal the prohibition on carrying in a church or place of worship.

City secures military dump truck
In other business, Petri was glad to announce they had no need to purchase a dump trailer, as he and Director of Public Works Dale Clamon had secured a military dump truck at no cost from Tyler County, which will help the city immensely.

City Secretary Annette Hickman fielded questions on the Chester Gas Company customers who were past due. The council approved cut offs for all those who by policy were past due and who had not made prior arrangement with Hickman’s office to pay their bills.

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Commissioners denote ‘Heart Health Month’ in Tyler County



By Chris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – Tyler County Commissioners received updates on several items and approved some purchasing at the Monday, Feb. 25 meeting of commissioners court.

One item on the agenda that County Judge Jacques Blanchette presented in the form of a proclamation recognized the month of February as “Heart Health Month” in Tyler County. The national emphasis on heart health throughout the month places a focus on making life changes to prevent heart disease and encouraging doctors and nurses to become leaders in their respective communities by speaking out about ways to prevent heart disease and making healthier choices in life.

Tyler County Hospital CEO Sondra Williams, as well as TCH employees Christina Hood and Janay Gilbert and Ken Jobe, Hospital Board Chairman, were on hand to recognize the proclamation and Heart Health Month.

Mutual aid for juvenile counseling/mental health services
An agreement was approved for the Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) to provide counseling and/or mental health services for juvenile offenders in Tyler County.

This routine mutual-aid agreement, which was presented to the court by Terry Allen, the county’s chief juvenile probation officer, “seemed to meet all of the criteria”, Blanchette said.

Purchases approved for Pct 4
Commissioners approved two purchases for Precinct 4 of heavy equipment. In two separate agenda items, the purchase of a 2019 Mack truck tractor and a CPS belly dump trailer from the Wichita Falls-based dealership Bruckner’s was approved.

The funds for these purchases will come from HGAC, a cooperative government-to-government buy board.

At its Monday meeting, commissioners also voted to approve the following agenda items:
• A resolution authorizing the submission of a fiscal year 2019-2020 Texas Community Development Block Grant was presented and approved.
• An intergovernmental agreement between the county and the Tyler County Special Utility District (formerly Tyler County Water Supply Corp.) was approved.
• The investment of additional county funds in the Texas Class Pool Funds was approved. County Treasurer LeAnn Monk recommended this action as the county is “currently sitting on quite a bit of money” not drawing significant interest.
• The appointment of Jennifer Miller as ESD #3 Commissioner through Dec. 31, 2020 was made.

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Commissioners approve equipment transfer; application resolution



By Chris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – In its third meeting of 2019, the Tyler County Commissioners Court met and tackled its agenda in a short, succinct manner, clocking in at 20 minutes, as County Judge Jacques Blanchette noted.

One of the items on Monday morning’s agenda concerned the transfer of ownership of a five-ton military grade dump truck from the office of Pct. 2 Constable John Fuller to the City of Chester. The truck, according to Fuller, is a 1985 model and has some maintenance issues. He said the city has expressed interest in owning the truck and will take care of the maintenance and insurance on it. Fuller added that if at any time the vehicle is needed by Pct. 2 Commissioner Stevan Sturrock, the city would have no problem allowing him to use it.

Blanchette said through the years Tyler County has benefited from the ability to procure military equipment, but for record-keeping, all of the purchases must come through the court prior to acquisition by a precinct or county department. Commissioners approved the transfer.

In other business, commissioners voted to approve the authorization for submission of a Texas Community Development Block Grant for fiscal year 2019-2020. Lesley Waxman of David J. Waxman Inc. was on hand to speak about the process. “[The resolution] is saying that you’re authorizing us to submit an application to the Texas Department of Agriculture. You are not putting up any money…it also gives you the authority to sign all documents associated with this grant,” she said.

The CDBG grant, according to Blanchette, is for the amount of $275K.

Blanchette put the resolution in the form of a motion and was seconded by Pct.1 Commissioner Martin Nash.

The commissioners also voted to approve an intergovernmental agreement with the Tyler County Special Utility District, which was previously known as the Tyler County Water Supply Corporation. The agreement was needed, Blanchette said, because the SUD wishes to proceed with a CDBG application which will go through a committee appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott, and which Nash is a member.

The agreement authorizes Blanchette, on behalf of the court, to award the grant money, if the SUD is found favorable to receive funds from the grant, if it is awarded to the county.

Resolution passed in support of Alabama-Coushatta tribe
Blanchette said the Alabama-Coushatta tribe of Polk County are being discriminated against in their fight to maintain the Naskila Gaming center. The commissioners voted to approve a new resolution in support of the tribe.

The new resolution in support of the tribe reflects the desire for them to be granted the same rights to have a gaming center on their land as the Kickapoo and Yselta de sur Pueblo tribes of Del Rio and El Paso, respectively.

“We stand against any discrimination that would prevent them from exercising the same privileges that have been provided the aforementioned tribes,” Blanchette read from the resolution.

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