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Liberty County commissioners make quick work of agenda

Liberty County Commissioners made quick work of yesterday’s agenda. Both Commissioner Pct 2 Greg Arthur and Commissioner Pct. 3 James “Boo” Reeves were absent from the first regular meeting of the new year. Among the items discussed was a dependent health care eligibility audit conducted during 2018 by a company called PlanSource. County Treasurer Kim Harris said the purpose of the audit is to ensure only qualified dependants are on the plan and to make sure the county is not covering or paying for anyone who is not eligible. Mrs. Harris told commissioners that PlanSource sent out letters to 200 county employees with dependent coverage. Of those employees, 22 did not respond to the audit survey. Mrs. Harris said another 29 provided insufficient information for PlanSource to make a determination. However, Treasurer Kim Harris said that insufficient response – in some cases – was for merely failing to provide a copy of the backside of their driver’s license. Of the 200 employees, six dependents have already been deemed ineligible for coverage. The county treasurer asked commissioners court to extend the response period another 30 days to give every employee with dependent coverage a final chance to provide the correct documentation. She recommended – and commissioners agreed – that the county would not seek to recover prior claims already paid for those dependants who were not eligible to be covered under the county’s plan.  However, after 30 more days, any dependant deemed ineligible will be dropped from the county’s health plan. In other business, commissioners approved a fourth payment to Millis Equipment - this one in the amount of $264,818. Liberty County Grant Administrator David Douglas said the funds are related to a grant dating back to Hurricane Harvey through the Texas General Land Office. The ongoing project is for drainage clearance, pipes, culverts and concrete work in Precinct 1. The county also received $115,771 from FEMA for washout and culvert work in Precincts 2 and 3. Liberty County Judge Jay Knight emphasized the importance of tackling drainage issues countywide. We reported back in October that commissioners hired a company called Grant Works to solicit and administer grants for Liberty County. Judge Knight said one of the first grants the firm will pursue is for a $2 million countywide drainage plan. Yesterday, the county judgeonce again said drainage is a huge issue for the county and needs to be addressed. In other action, Liberty County Commissioners approved the purchase of a 2018 Crew Cab, 4x4 pickup truck for the sheriff’s office. The low bid was from Lake Country Chevrolet in Jasper for $28,988.

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