Monitor Staff Writer

KAUFMAN–Kaufman Commissioners Court held its workshop June 5 to discuss several matters that needed clarification. 

Judge Richards mentioned the solid waste management which costs approximately $275,000 a year (not counting trash pick up) for funding,  clean up and co-op.

“We don’t have a good grasp of where the money is going and we don’t know where the solid waste is ending up,” Richards said.  

According to Richards there may be as many as four different heavy trucks working the same roads and it is unknown where the waste is going. 

Richards says he receives complaints from residents about trash falling off  trucks and sitting on the side of the road. “We have no consolidation. But the county has authority to permit and  manage solid waste within the county. As the county grows it will be a bigger problem,” Richards said. 

No decision was requested but a suggestion was made to have one entity to manage the haulers and services. The county also needs a tire haul off/recycling so tires don’t end up in a landfill. A search for a structured and well-functional program is underway as it is the best way to deal with waste and tire management.

Commissioner Cates brought up the subject of a culvert policy or lack of one that is a continuing problem and impacts road maintenance. “Culvert installation and maintenance is a huge undertaking when some policies are unclear,” Cates said.

“Some property owners choose not to install culverts due to cost and the old culverts are inadequate, some are rotted at the bottom and dysfunctional,” Cates said. 

“We need a modern, current and enforceable policy,” Cates said.

Several options were discussed including tying the culvert fee to the driveway permits or just require installation to be done. Culvert size best for the county will need to be decided upon and the policy needs to be unified so citizens are not sent to several places.

Richards wants the installation to be designed and sized by a certified expert in that field.

Also among discussion was the repair and rehabilitation of Levee sites 9 and 10 in the Warsaw Community. Construction will begin in late 2020 or 2021. The federal government pays for a portion along with the state and county. The overall project is $1.8 million for the dams that need improvement. Dams that need repair are on 148 and 1390, and on other side of 1390.

“Both dams were built in the 1950s with a 60 year life span, but they have exceeded that,” Cates said. The dams are dangerous going downstream and need to be reshaped due to no adequate overflow which will impact the properties upstream. 

“These streams need help or they will fail and I wouldn’t want to be downstream when that happens,” Cates said.

In other news, commissioners: 

• approved payments for $684,950.06.

• approved the move of George York’s salary schedule from Criminal Investigation Division Investigator to Forensic Investigator.

• heard the preliminary 2018 Kaufman County Annual Financial Report.

•heard re-appointment of Brad Smith to the Levee Improvement District (LID) Board along with two other members and reimbursement of $162,567.25 of expenses for levee repairs in 2016-17. 

The board is supposed to have three members but has been a dormant business for years.  Smith was advised to get the three board members appointed, have an open bank account and take the matter back to the commissioners court.  Richards also requested a copy of the by-laws. 

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