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Gov’t lake draws attention of environmental agency


A government lake in southeast Clay County has drawn the attention of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. TCEQ is asking the county to submit a plan of action to correct several issues.

County Judge Kenneth Liggett notified commissioners of the request during Monday’s regular meeting. The lake is located on Big Sandy Creek, near Vashti.

Concerns include brush control on the dam, an inoperable floodgate built into the spillway, and a house located one foot above crest level in a flood plain above the lake.

The lake was inspected by the TCEQ in September. Liggett said the house is on stilts and has been there for 15 to 20 years.

Liggett recommended that Precinct 4 Commissioner A.J. Peek meet with the Natural Resources and Conservation Service to write the plan.

Commissioners received updates from County Attorney Seth Slagle on two contracts he has been working on for the county.

The first, a ride-along waiver for county vehicles, he said was probably redundant because the Texas Tort Claims Act protects the county from suit over many of the issues state in the waiver. “But, it doesn’t hurt to have it,” said Slagle.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Johnny Gee, who pushed the waiver, agreed, “It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.”

Slagle also is working on a contract between the county and the Clay County Historical Society for the use of two bays in the former Henrietta VFD building. The CCHS will use the bays as part of the 1890 Jail Museum and Heritage Center, while the county will use the third bay to store a portable light plant and fire command van.

As the contract now reads, the CCHS will reimburse the county for insurance costs and will be responsible for utilities. The society also will be responsible for any damage it causes, while general maintenance and upkeep of the building will fall to the county.

Materials for a wall to be constructed between the two sides of the building are expected to arrive Wednesday.

In other business, commissioners:

Approved a release pledge, due to maturity, from Legend Bank in the amount of $571,000.

Approved the pledging of new securities in the amount of $1.067 million from Legend Bank.

Adopted the annual investment policy with no changes and approved Debra Alexander, county treasurer, as investment officer.

Approved a renewal of the annual Air Evac site membership for the Clay County Sheriff’s Office at a cost of $475 for 30 participants.

Approved the county treasurer’s December report and advertisement of the report.

Set a special meeting for Monday, Jan. 30 at 9:30 a.m. to approve payroll and pay bills.


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The Pioneer Sentinel is an online newspaper designed to deliver the news of Clay County, Texas, in a concise and community-friendly format.

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