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Henderson County makes employee policy changes

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HENDERSON COUNTY–Commissioners’ Court made two types of policy changes related to county employees during its Dec. 22 meeting, one of which the county had already fulfilled in 2020.
The first deals with the number of times that county employees who hold commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) are randomly tested for drugs and alcohol, which is in compliance with federal law. County Treasurer Michael Bynum said even though the policy outlining that number had been approved last December, it had not been entered into the county’s policy and procedures manual.
However, County Judge Wade McKinney said the vendor who provides such testing had already been complying with the change in 2020. Bynum said 32 drivers had 16 drug tests administered, which met the newer 50% level required, which had changed from 25%. For the required 10% of drivers tested for alcohol, the county met that by having four random alcohol tests administered to drivers.
“We are fine on all of our testing,” Bynum said.
The second change came to the county personnel policy. County Human Resources Director Halie Bever said those changes include adding different classes to the anti-discrimination policy, changing performance review policies from twice a year to once a year, as well as changes to the wellness incentive policy, which outlines employee requirements for tobacco cessation and annual physicals.
McKinney said another personnel policy change would allow the audit office to check funding for certain new hires against the county budget.
The court also approved an interlocal agreement with the East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG) in relation to state emergency communications infrastructure grant funding, for which Henderson County has received $500,000. McKinney said this move allows the county to join with ETCOG for the funding to get a fifth communications tower online faster.
That fifth tower will be situated in the southwestern part of the county, said the county judge, who added that the county is currently evaluating tower placement sites.
In other business, the court approved a cellphone for the District Attorney’s office manager, which McKinney said would help comply with state law to inventory text messages as part of the public record.
Also, members appointed Pat Clark to fill an expired term on the board of commissioners of Emergency Services District (ESD) No. 11 for another term that ends Dec. 2022 and approved a right-of-way agreement for Bethel-Ash Water Supply Corp. to bore a water line across County Road 3824.
The court also approved paying November sales tax bills of $347, as well as fiscal year 2020 bills for $414,081.81 and fiscal year 2021 bills worth $4,583.52. Also approved was a replat of three lots into two within Cedar View Estates subdivision in Precinct 2.
Further, the court approved the county’s 2021 bulk fuel bid. The primary award went to Hubert Glass Oil Co., with Beckat Oil & Fuel as the secondary vendor.

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