Truancy grant approved by county commissioners

A resolution in support of the Nolan County Truancy/Juvenile Prevention grant was approved at Monday's meeting of the Nolan County Commissioners.The grant is through the Criminal Justice Department of the Governor's office and would be used to partner with nine school districts in three counties, which includes Nolan. Already, eight school districts have agreed to the partnership.The funds would allow for workers to meet with at-risk youth and students with behavior problems (the referrals are made by the school) for counseling and to emphasize the importance of education in an effort to bring down truancy numbers. Most of the interaction would take place within the schools on a weekly basis to maintain contact, except for parenting classes.The grant is 100% funded through the Governor's office and would run from September 1, 2014 through August 31, 2015. The deadline to apply for the grant is February 28.Since the grant is only for a year, the hope is that the school districts can come up with a plan for future funding to keep the program going. The minimum request amount stands at $5,000, but after seeing success with a previous grant that totaled $100,000, a request for $125,000 may be submitted.Also during the meeting, approval was given toward a requested variance in a county right-of-way agreement for the Sunoco pipeline, which is 340 miles long. The pipeline will transport crude oil, which is being installed under county road crossings without casing. Studies have shown that installing the line with casing proved to be detrimental and extends the life of the line, which is built with 100% steel. For Nolan County, fourteen crossings were noted, along with around 5 TxDOT (Texas Department of Transportation) highways. TxDOT had already allowed for the installation without the casing. The variance is required so that the installation can be done without the casing for all the county crossings. The construction is set to begin in July 2014.