Panola County Commissioners recently approved an action which will continue to allow local crime victims access to notification when changes in offender status in cases impacting them takes place.

The court approved a grant contract through the Texas Office of Attorney General for the statewide victim notification system (SAVNS) at their regular Sept. 13 meeting. Pct. 4 Commissioner Dale LaGrone moved to approve while Craig Lawless, Pct. 3, seconded the motion.

The system is designed to provide victims of crime with access to information and notification about changes in offender status and court events impacting their case, according to the AG’s office. The program provides crime victims with the information by a toll-free number and dedicated website, officials said.

“The system allows survivors, victims of crime and other concerned residents access to reliable information about offenders or criminal cases in U.S. jails and prisons,” according to the AG’s office. Interested persons may visit the website; or call (877) TX4-VINE for more information or to register for notifications.

Other Items

In other business, the court unanimously voted to set a public hearing to consider lowering the speed limit on County Road 306.

They will accept public comments on a recommendation to reduce the speed limit to 30 miles per hour at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 27. After the public hearing, a vote on the issue could take place.

Commissioners approved a proposal from the Dallas-based firm of Scott-Merriman for preservation and digitization of probate and final estate minute books in the County Clerk’s Office, to be paid from the County Clerk Records Preservation Fund for 2023 Budget.

The court approved canceling a lease agreement with Johnny Wayne Harrison for dirt and clay for Pct. 3 and 4. The reason for the cancellation was that the lessor ran out of dirt at his location and it was not feasible to transport it in from other locations, officials said.

Commissioners approved paying bills and payroll as prepared by the Panola County Treasurer.

They also approved awarding the purchase of food items for the Panola County Detention to the lowest and best food vendors upon recommendation of Lt. Tina McMullen. County Judge David Anderson said the action is an item which comes up annually but requires court approval.

During the public comments portion of the agenda, Keri Perot-Vance, executive director of the Panola County Chamber of Commerce, updated commissioners on a shop local campaign which begins on Monday, Sept. 19. Also during the citizen comments period, she informed them of a grant workshop coming up in October.

An economic development workshop on grants and programs will be held from 9 a.m. until 1 p..m. on Oct. 18 at Panola College.

“We have quite a long list of special guests coming,” she said. “We’ve invited USDA, Texas Department of Agriculture, SBDC (Small Business Development Center), Texas Workforce, SBA (Small Business Administration), Sabine River Authority, TxDOT and ETCOG.”

Judge David Anderson welcomed members of a government class from Carthage High School and introduced the class to the individual commissioners.

The court unanimously approved the consent agenda items, including:

  • Recording an increase in salary to $17.65 per hour for Kaylee Sparks, Communications Officer with the Panola County Sheriff’s Department effective Aug. 27
  • Recorded an increase in salary to $15.60 per hour for Candace Pinke, deputy clerk with the Panola County Tax Assessor’s Office effective Sept. 12.
  • Recording the separation of Bobby Henley as temporary operator with the Panola County Road & Bridge Department, Precinct 3 effective Sept. 1 , at 5 p.m.
  • Recording of the separation of Rodney Cole as Operator with the Panola County Road & Bridge Department, Precinct 3 effective Sept. 6, at 5 p.m.
  • To record the resignation of Chris Williams as a detention officer with the Panola County Sheriff’s Department effective September 9, 2022.
  • To record the resignation of Holden Ritter as a detention officer with the Panola County Sheriff’s Department effective Sept. 23.
  • To record the employment of Jeffery McAndrews as a Detention Officer with the Panola County Sheriff’s Department effective September 10, 2022 at the rate of $16.66 per hour.
  • To authorize the County Auditor to advertise for sealed bids for road oil (cracked fuel oil); corrugated steel pipe culverts; polyethylene corrugated culverts; gravel; used railroad tank cars/flat cars; concrete iron ore; crushed limestone; pug milling; diesel/gasoline; and asphalt. Bids to be opened at a regular session of the Commissioners’ Court scheduled for Oct. 11, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. Specifications available in the County Judge’s Office, 110 S. Sycamore, Room 216-A, Carthage, Texas and at the County Warehouse, 1121 E. Sabine, Carthage, Texas.
  • To approve and record a request by Comstock Resources, Inc. to place 10-inch lay flat temporary water lines within the right-of-way of Panola County Roads 311 and 3122.
  • To approve and record a request by Atmos Energy Corp. to place 36-inch steel lines within the right-of-way of Panola County Roads 264, 2641, 265 (2), 3062 & 3063.
  • To approve minutes of Commissioners’ Court meetings held during the month of August, 2022.
  • To record Panola County Tax Assessor/Collector’s Vehicle Inventory Tax Interest Fund Budget for Fiscal Year 2023.
  • To record fiscal year 2023 Compensation Orders forms for County Auditor, Assistant County Auditors and Panola County 123rd District Court Reporter; and record Oath of Office forms for County Auditor and Assistant County Auditors.
  • To approve and record 2022 Budget Amendment No. 19.
  • To approve and record Panola County Investment Report for 2nd Quarter Fiscal Year 2022.
  • To ratify and record the TxDOT Number M2319CART Grant for the Routine Airport Maintenance Program between the County of Panola and the Texas Department of Transportation.
  • To approve and record the addition Section 5.08 to the Panola County Employee Handbook.
  • To record August 2022 treasurer’s report for Panola County Treasurer’s Office.
  • To record August 2022 Fund Balance Report for Panola County Auditor’s Office.
  • To approve and record a request for attendance at a conference form(s) for the following Panola County elected official(s)/employee(s): Panola County Elections Administrator Loretta Mason; Panola County Clerk Bobbie Davis; Panola County District Clerk Lindsey Smith; and Panola County Justice of the Peace, Precincts 1 & 4 Larry Fields.

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