Polk County Enterprise (Livingston, Tex.), Vol. 109, No. 93, Ed. 1 Thursday, November 21, 1991 Page: 1 of 22
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Volume 109 Number 93
The Dominant News and Advertising Source in Polk County
UPSP 437-340 Price: 25 cents
Jail commission lifts order
ENTERPRISE PHOTO BY STEPHEN HENGST
‘TASTE’ A SUCCESS — Hundreds of hungry people sample
the food of 16 restaurants represented at the Taste of Polk
County, held Tuesday evening in the old Howard’s building
on North Washington. The event was sponsored by the Polk
County Chamber of Commerce. Everything from appetizers
to main courses were available for sampling.
Onalaska City Council considers
LIVINGSTON - The Texas Jail
Commission Wednesday lifted its
remedial order limiting the capacity
of the Polk County Jail to 48 clas-
sified inmates. The action will save
the county an estimated $30,000 a
month over the next year as a 48-
inmate addition to the jail is being
An elated County Judge John
Thompson, calling from Austin fol-
lowing Wednesday morning’s jail
commission hearing, said the Polk
County contingent was uncertain of
its chances of getting the order
lifted as it presented its case to the
commission. The county had dis-
cussed the matter off-and-on
throughout the day Tuesday with
State Rep. Allen Hightower.
Thompson and all four county
commissioners were joined in Aus-
tin by Sheriff Darrell Longino, Jail
Administrator Jack Mangrum, State
Sen. Bill Haley, Sherry Walker
with Hightower’s office, and Gary
Adams, the county’s building con-
"We laid our plan in front of
them," Thompson said. "We’ve
sold the bonds (to expand the jail),
the money will soon be in the bank,
we’ve got the plans for the expan-
sion and we’ve advertised for bids
for a 16-bed temporary addition."
It was also pointed out that the
county is presently spending
$30,000 a month to house prisoners
in other counties in order to comply
with the remedial order.
"At that point the chief inspector
there said that our jail is a relatively
new facility and well run,"
Thompson said. The inspector also
said he felt the staffing at the jail is
capable of overseeing additional
It was initially thought that the
order would not be lifted until after
the 16-bed temporary addition is
Club requests longer hours
ONALASKA - A petition re-
questing a 2 a.m. license was
brought before the Onalaska City
Council during the public forum at
the regular meeting of the council
Myra Lamb, manager of Hilton
on the Lake, addressed the council
in an attempt to persuade the city to
pass an ordinance allowing a 2 a.m.
license. Lamb said the club is los-
ing a lot of business because people
leave around 11 p.m. to drive 25
miles up the road to another club
that does stay open until 2 a.m.
She said a lot of the estab-
lishment’s business comes from
people who go to the club, then eat
at the restaurant and stay overnight
at the motel. In addition to the loss
of business, she said the fact that so
many people who have been drink-
ing leave and drive 25 miles to
another club, poses a danger to
themselves and others.
She assured the council that she
runs "a nice place with no riff-raff."
She said her employees monitor the
customers and that those who have
had too much to drink are not
served anymore. She said motel
rooms have been given to people in
the past who were unable to drive
and that she has driven many of
them home before.
Lamb said if they keep losing
sales, they may not be able to stay
in business, which would result in
approximately 20 people losing
Gene Dalkins, owner of Hilton
on the Lake, said he wanted to ad-
dress the council regarding "a mis-
conception." He informed everyone
that Hilton Karm does not own any
part of the establishment and has no
interest in it
Jimmie Robbins, who lives
across the street from Hilton on the
Lake, said she wants it too stay
open and stay in business because it
makes her feel safe and secure
knowing there are people over
Bemiece Scott, owner of Sum-
merland Package Store, said it
would help her business and help
her keep her employees.
"I have a bit of apprehension,"
Councilmembcr Irene Hamann
said, responding to the public
forum. "We had problems before
when we had a 2 a.m. license. Our
fire department can vouch for that.
They’ve had to scrape too many
people up off the highway."
Although no action could be
taken Tuesday, the mayor said the
item will be put on the agenda for
the next meeting.
Following an executive session,
council voted to hire Pierce Owens
as gas system superintendent, who
will continue to be inspector at his
present salary until construction of
the gas system begins, at which
time the additional wages to total
$16,000 will be paid by Farmers
Council tabled action on hiring a
Regarding the natural gas sys-
tem, council repealed and amended
the ordinance for the issuance of
the gas system revenue bonds,
Council approved entering into a
financial management contract and
an audit contract with James A.
Anderson Jr., the city’s accountant,
for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1,
1991 and ending Sept. 30,' 1992.
Mayor Robert E. "Bob" Maddox
reported that the natural gas system
is scheduled to close out on Dec.
17. "Hopefully, we’ll be able to get
out in the field and get some ac-
tivity going,” Maddox said.
Maddox also reminded everyone
of the city’s food drive to benefit
the Polk County Mission Center,
encouraging the people to drop off
their canned goods and non-
perishable food items at the
Onalaska City Hall.
Councilmember Jeanne Ann
Byrd informed everyone about
Coats for Kids, the county-wide
coat drive that area schools and
cleaners are participating in, along
with the commissioners’ court.
Those with extra coats may drop
them off at the Onalaska Elemen-
tary School by Nov. 26. The coats
will go to the cleaners on Nov. 27
and will be distributed to needy
children the following week. Byrd
encouraged those giving coats to
specify if they want it to stay in the
Other business included approval
of the minutes, vouchers and finan-
LIVINGSTON - A 71-year-old
man suffered incapacitating injuries
in an automobile/pedestrian acci-
dent that occurred at 7:51 a.m.
Wednesday in the 200 block of
According to the accident report
filed by Trooper Paul Heame, For-
rest Richardson, of Livingston, was
standing on the comer of Jackson
and West Church streets and as the
light changed, attempted to cross
the street from north to south.
At the same time, a 1982 GMC
Sierra Classic low truck driven by-
Jerry Lenn Johnson, 39, of
Livingston, was headed south on
Jackson Street making a left turn
onto West Church and struck
Richardson was transported by
ambulance to Polk County
No charges were filed in connec-
tion with the accident.
Five people were injured in a
two-vehicle collision which oc-
curred in the 1800 block of South
Houston at 1:38 p.m. Monday.
According to the accident report
filed by Livingston Police Officer
Wesley Smith, a 1982 Mercury
Zephyr station wagon driven by
Wanda Rhoten Gordon, 75, of Ace,
was proceeding south on South
Houston and a 1953 International
winch truck driven by Dock
Samuel Jr., 75, of Ace, was coming
out of a private driveway and turn-
ing north on South Houston.
Ragmen, who were employees
of Floyd Baker House Moving
Company of Conroe, were attempt-
ing to stop traffic in both directions
as Samuel, who was towing an 80
foot long double H beam, pulled
onto the roadway, the report indi-
See SEVERAL pg. 6A
complete, in about 90 days, but the
jail commission agreed to lift the
order immediately. The county jail
is now under no specific limita-
tions, as long as health conditions
and other specifications relating to
the housing of prisoners are met.
"We are extremely elated,"
Thompson said. Over the construc-
tion period for the 48-bed jail addi-
tion, expected to take approximate-
ly a year, the county will save an
estimated $360,000 due to lifting of
the remedial order.
County commissioners met in a
brief special-called session Monday
afternoon to authorize advertise-
ment for bids on construction of a
temporary 16-bed addition to the
Certificates of obligation were
sold last week to fund construction
of a 48-bed addition to the jail and
the temporary measures, designed
to cut down on the number of in-
mates being sent to other counties
in order to meet jail capacity stand-
ards, will be incorporated into the
overall construction project.
Overall jail plans call for a gras-
sy area on the south side of the
building, already walled on three
sides, to be used as a kitchen build-
ing. As an interim measure that
area can be converted to house up
to 16 prisoners.
CED confuses taxpayers
LIVINGSTON - Over 87,800
tax statements have been sent to
persons who own property in Polk
Approximately 65,000 property
tax statements were mailed last
week by the Polk County Tax
Assessor-Collector’s Office, which
collects taxes for all taxing entities
in the county except the Onalaska
and Corrigan-Camden school dis-
The Onalaska ISD Tax Office
mailed approximately 15,600 tax
statements two weeks ago and the
Corrigan-Camden ISD Tax Office
mailed 7,200 statements on Oct. 29.
Both offices report that they are al-
ready receiving 1991 tax monies.
Despite publicity over the legis-
lature’s attempts to equalize school
funding through formation of
County Education Districts
(CED)s, the new tax appears to
have caught many property owners
by surprise. "Our phones have been
ringing off the wall," said County
Tax Assessor-Collector Robert C.
"Bob" Willis. He estimated his of-
fice fielded 150-170 phone calls
Yvonne Pixley of the Onalaska
ISD Tax Office and Linda Kidd of
the Corrigan-Camden ISD Tax Of-
fice said they have also been
receiving inquiries about the new
"We’ve gotten about 25 calls
about the CED,” Pixley said, ad-
ding there have also been several
people come to the office in person
to ask about the new entity
tax bills. StilL .
"there were not as many calls as I
had anticipated," she said. Kidd
said some she has talked to have
thought the CED is a county lax.
The CED was created last sum-
mer by the state legislature as a
way to help equalize school fund-
ing. The Polk County CED board -
which consists of one representa-
tive from each of the six school dis-
tricts in the county - has assessed a
tax rate of 78.8 cents per $100
valuation. Because each school dis-
trict already had a tax collection
process in place, the CED con-
tracted with those entities to have
the CED tax collected m the same
manner as the other school taxes.
Since Polk County has no "rich"
school districts, as defined by the
state, CED tax money will general-
ly be returned to the ISDs in which
it was collected.
Most property owners should
have already received their tax
statements. Willis said those who
have not received their statements
by the end of this week should con-
tact the county tax office. Property
owners in the OISD and C-C1SD
should also have received their
statements, since they were mailed
earlier, and both Pixley and Kidd
said those who have not received
them should call.
Thinking that, because you did
not receive a tax statement, you do
not have to pay taxes is a mistake,
all three tax office officials agreed.
If a statement is not received, for
any reason, there is no statute of
limitations, Willis said, adding that
penalty and interest will be as-
sessed on accounts not paid.
That penalty and interest is sub-
stantial. Property tax payments are
due by Jan. 31, 1992. In February,
7 percent in penalty and interest
will be added - and the rate keeps
climbing. In March penalty and in-
terest rises to 9 percent, going to 11
percent in April, 13 percent in May
and 15 percent in June. Those who
wait until July to pay their bill will
be hit with a 33 percent penalty and
interest charge, climbing to 34 per-
cent in August, 35 percent in Sep-
tember and 36 percent in October.
If the tax bill continues to be
delinquent, chances are a lawsuit
will eventually be filed against the
There is some help available to
those with good intentions but little
money. The County Tax Assessor-
Collector’s Office and OISD and
C-Cisp mx offices all offer partial
payment plans, through which a tax
bill can be paid out in smaller in-
stallments. For those statements
processed through Willis’ office,
persons may simply mail in a par-
tial payment, making sure to in-
clude their account number on the
check. Kidd and Pixley said partial
payment plans can be established
by contacting their respective of-
The law allows persons over 65
years of age to pay taxes, on their
homesteads only, in four equal in-
stallments, with no penalty and in-
terest. The first payment must be
paid by Jan. 31 in order to qualify
for the quarterly payment plan,
Willis said. The second payment is
due March 31, the third on May 31
and the fourth on July 31.
Although a property owner al-
ways has the option of filing a
protest, the time for contesting the
value placed on property generally
passed with last spring's appraisal
review board hearings. An obvious
clerical error, however, can be cor-
rected by calling the tax office,
One way some taxpayers may
still save money is through the
homestead exemption, Kidd
pointed out. Those who have not
already applied for a homestead ex-
emption still have that option, she
"You can still file a (homestead
exemption) claim for 1991," said
Clyde Arrendell, chief appraisal for
the Polk County Appraisal District.
"But you need to do it before taxes
go delinquent on Feb. 1."
With voters last August approv-
ing a 20 percent homestead exemp-
tion as well as homestead exemp-
tions for those over 65 and/or dis-
abled for the County Education
Districts, that exemption has be-
come more valuable. "It is worth a
lot of money this year," Arrendell
said. He advised taxpayers to call
the appraisal district to make sure
they have not already claimed a
homestead exemption in years past
before coming to the office to file
for the exemption.
LIVINGSTON - Livingston In-
dependent School District trustees
will face a lengthy and diverse
agenda when they convene for their
regular monthly meeting at 7
o’clock tonight (Thursday).
Having adopted a "bare bones"
budget in August, while they
awaited the impact of school fund-
ing equalization legislation on the
district, several amendments to
campus budget requests will be
considered tonight. Those proposed
amendments include $10,000 in ad-
ditional teaching supplies and
books for the primary school;
$10,000 in additional teaching sup-
plies, capital outlay items and maps
for the elementary school; $10,000
for renovation of the science rooms
and auditorium and for teachers’
lounge restrooms at the junior high;
$13,300 for girls’ softball and bas-
ketball, tennis, teaching supplies
See BAND pg. 6A
car crashes into beam
INJURY ACCIDENT -- Emergency person-
nel work to remove passengers involved in a
wreck Monday afternoon on Hwy. 146. A
winch truck pulling an 80-foot steel beam
ENTERPRISE PHOTO BY STEPHEN HENGST
was attempting to turn north when a station
wagon struck the beam. See related story
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White, Barbara. Polk County Enterprise (Livingston, Tex.), Vol. 109, No. 93, Ed. 1 Thursday, November 21, 1991, newspaper, November 21, 1991; Livingston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth782019/m1/1/: accessed November 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Livingston Municipal Library.