Judge Thompson Lays out Plans for Polk County College Campus in Speech at Republican Club Meeting, LIVINGSTON, April 7, 2009 - Shortly after 7 pm on April 7, 2009, Polk County Judge, John Thompson gave a speech and presentation to the county Republican Club about a preliminary strategy to bring an Angelina College Campus to Livingston located on 10.5 acres on US-59 (south-bound side) in Livingston just north of the Polk County Chamber of Commerce. While many details are still indistinct, Thompson spoke with fervor and was adamant about the possibility of erecting a College Campus here in Livingston, and the benefits it would provide. "Students would have an opportunity to advance their education right here in Polk County" Thompson said. "Students could get vocational training, or academic education". "It not only helps the kids that want to go to school, but it's equally important to adults that are working and raising children that want to go to school at night. This can help them advance their standing in life." he said. The property for the would-be Campus is currently owned by the Texas Department of Transportation (TDOT) and was purchased by TDOT in the early 70s. TDOT is willing to help by selling the land for the project at roughly the same price that was paid when they purchased the land (an estimated savings of around $400,000). Normally, TDOT would have the land appraised and then sell the land at the going price, but a bill passed by Senator Robert Nichols and Rep. John Otto permits TDOT to veer from their normal procedures. "That's a tremendous benefit to us to have a Senator and a Representative in the Senate and the House to make things happen like that" Thompson said. According to Thompson, the funding for such an undertaking would not come through any taxation but through donations, and the Economic Development Administration (EDA). The EDA is a federal entity. Thompson stated that Angelina College is willing to furnish professors and instructors if Polk County will get the facilities constructed. The estimated cost is approximately 7 million dollars. "We're reasonably confident that we can get in the neighborhood of 4 to 5 million dollars through the EDA". When asked if he thinks it can be done, Thompson stated "I've got plan A, B, C, and D and I'm working all four at the same time" he said laughing. "This is our golden opportunity" Thompson said. "I'm fired up about this". "We don't want to own it, we just want to be the vehicle that helps get it here and then let Angelina College move the ball down the court". Thompson also used the floor to make it clear that he plans on running for judge again "What I'm going to do next year is be the first one in Benny Fogleman's office to sign up to run for County Judge. So I'm going to be the first one to ask you for your vote and support".
Polk County Judge John Thompson addresses the Republican Club in the cafeteria of Livingston Memorial Hospital.
Drawings submitted by Scott & Strong, Arhcitects and Designers
After the meeting, Judge Thompson hung around to answer questions and talk.
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