Ark-Tex Council of Governments Board of Directors Meeting, December 13, 2018
The Board of Directors of the Ark-Tex Council of Governments (ATCOG) will meet at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, December 13, 2018, at the Hopkins County Courthouse, 118 Church St., Sulphur Springs, Texas, hosted by the Honorable Robert Newsom, Judge, Hopkins County. (See enclosed map.)
Item 1. Call to order.
Item 2. Invocation.
Item 3. Self-introductions.
Item 4. Approve the minutes as submitted of the Ark-Tex Council of Governments Board of Directors Meeting
held Thursday, September 27, 2018, in Daingerfield, Texas.
Review and Comment
Item 5. Review and comment on an Environmental Assessment to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for proposed Water Quality Permit Renewal by Texas Department of Transportation, to authorize the discharge of treated wastewater from the facility located near FM Road 1110 and U.S. Highway 59 in Cass County, Texas, ultimately to James’ Bayou. (See page 8; to be presented by staff member Paul Prange)
Item 6. Update regarding FY 18 Illegal Dumping Surveillance Camera Loan Program and FY 19 Cleanup events. (For information only – see page 10; to be presented by staff member Paul Prange)
Item 7. Review and comment on an application by the City of Leary to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, for a grant for $960,000 for an elevated water storage tank. (see page 15; to be presented by staff member Toni Lindsey)
Item 8. Review and consider approval of a revision to the ATCOG Policies and Procedures Manual and ATCOG Ethics Policy Manual. (See page 18; to be presented by staff member Mary Beth Rudel)
Item 9. Review and consider annual renewal of the ATCOG Ethics Policy Manual and review Transportation Program funding requirements about integrity and ethical behavior, as mandated by the Texas Transportation Commission and TxDOT. (See page 35; to be presented by staff member Leslie McBride)
Item 10. Review and consider approval of updates to the Equal Employment Opportunity Plan as required by TxDOT. (See page 37 – also see addendum; to be presented by staff member Leslie McBride)
Item 11. Review and consider approval of the ATCOG Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA), State Preparedness Report (SPR) and the Homeland Security Implementation Plan for 2019. (See page 39 – also see addendum; to be presented by staff member Whitney Fezell)
Item 12. Executive Director Report (For information only – see page 41; to be presented by the Executive Director Chris Brown)
a) Legislative & Federal Visits
b) Program Updates/Statistics
c) Homeland Security Advisory Committee Minutes
Item 13. The presentation of plaques for out-going Board members. (To be presented by Judge L.D. Williamson, Board
The next Executive Committee Meeting will be Thursday, January 31, 2019, at 10:00 a.m., at the Titus County Extension Office, Mt. Pleasant, Texas. Under the Texas Open Meeting Act, Government Code Chapter 551 one or more of the above items may be considered in executive session closed to the public. That includes but not limited to consultation with an attorney under Texas Government Code Section 551.071 and Section 551.074 arising out
of the attorney’s ethical duty to advise ATCOG concerning legal issues arising from an agenda item. Any decision held on such matter will be taken or conducted in open session following the conclusion of the executive meeting. Persons with disabilities who plan to attend this meeting and who may need auxiliary aids or services are requested to contact Administration at 903-832-
8636 two (2) workdays before the meeting so that the appropriate arrangements can be made. All agendas are sent electronically and available at www.atcog.org. Should any Board Member need a copy printed and available at the meeting, please call 903/255.3555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARK-TEX COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS
BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
SEPTEMBER 27, 2018
The Board of Directors of the Ark-Tex Council of Governments (ATCOG) met at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, September 27, 2018, at the Morris County Courthouse Annex, 600 Broadnax, Daingerfield, Texas, hosted by the Honorable Lynda Munkres, Judge, Morris County, Texas.
Item 1. President L.D. Williamson, Judge, Red River County, called the meeting to order.
Item 2. Brady Fisher, Northeast Texas Resource Conservation & Development, gave the invocation.
Item 3. At this time, all attendees introduced themselves.
Item 4. The next order of business was to approve the minutes as submitted of the Ark-Tex Council of Governments Board of Directors meeting held Thursday, June 28, 2018, in Sulphur Springs, Texas.
Motion to approve was made by Scott Lee, Judge, Franklin County, and seconded by Billy Trenado,
Councilman, City of Paris.
Review and Comment
Item 7. Paul Prange, the Environmental Coordinator, presented for consideration an Environmental Assessment to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for proposed Federal Operating Permit by Alumax Mill Products-Texarkana, to authorize the operation of a secondary smelting and alloying aluminum facility located at 300 Alumax Drive, Texarkana, Bowie County, Texas.
Motion to approve was made by Bob Thorne, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Daingerfield, and seconded by Scott Norton, TexAmericas Center. It was accepted.
Item 8. Mr. Prange presented for consideration Environmental Assessments to TCEQ for proposed Air Quality Permit Renewal by the following:
a) U.S. Department of the Army to authorize continued operation of the Red River Army Depot located at 100 James Carlow Drive, Texarkana, Bowie County, Texas
b) Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) to authorize an increase in emissions of particulate matter at the Welsh Power Plant located at 1187 County Road 4865, Pittsburg, Titus
The motion was made by Mr. Norton and seconded by Judge Munkres. It was approved.
Item 9. Chris Brown, Executive Director, presented for approval ATCOG’s Financial Plan for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019. Effective October 1, 2018, there will be a COG-wide 3% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). He also reviewed changes in program funding from the prior year, with a significant increase in Housing funds, due to a partnership with the City of Texarkana for administering an Emergency Services Grant. He also noted that ATCOG will be adjusting the mileage reimbursement to match the State rate of 54.5 cents/mile and seeking a Policy revision to allow ATCOG to follow the General Services Administration (GSA) guidelines to determine maximum lodging reimbursement rates.
Items 5 & 6 were moved due to lack of meeting room availability.
Executive Closed Session
Item 5. At this time, Judge Williamson recessed the Open Session and went into Executive Closed Session to discuss personnel matters as allowed in the Texas Open Meetings Act, Section 551.074, Personnel Matters; annual evaluation of the Executive Director.
Open Session/Regular Business
Item 6. Judge Williamson called the meeting back into session, and the Board of Directors reconvened in Open Session to take action on Item 5. Judge Scott Lee made the motion to approve a COLA plus travel allowance for the Executive Director. The motion was seconded by Judge Munkres and was approved.
Item 10. Mary Beth Rudel, Deputy Director, presented for consideration approval of the revision to the ATCOG Policies and Procedures Manual, to allow federal rates to determine meal reimbursement.
The motion was made by Judge Munkres and seconded by Stan Wyatt, Northeast Texas Municipal Water District. It was approved.
Items 11 & 12 were presented simultaneously.
Item 11. Emily Glass, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Sulphur Springs, presented for consideration approval of Executive Committee Members to serve a 2-year term beginning October 1, 2018.
Item 12. Mayor Pro Tem Glass presented for consideration approval of reappointment of Executive Committee Members to serve as Officers to the Board of Directors for a 2-year term beginning October 1, 2018.
The motion was made by Mr. Fisher and seconded by Councilman Trenado. Both items were approved.
Item 13. Patricia Haley, Criminal Justice Coordinator, presented for consideration nominations filling two vacancies to the Regional Criminal Justice Advisory Committee (RCJAC) to serve through December 31, 2019.
The motion was made by Travis Ransom, Mayor, City of Atlanta, and seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Thorne. It was approved.
Item 14. Mark Compton, Transportation Manager, presented for consideration approval of the ATCOG Transit Asset Management Plan, as part of TxDOT’s Statewide Plan.
The motion was made by Judge Munkres and seconded by Judge Scott Lee. It was approved.
Item 15. Mr. Brown presented for consideration approval of a one-year extension to the agreement with Guaranty Bank & Trust to provide banking services beginning October 1, 2018, and extending through September 30, 2019.
The motion was by Judge Scott Lee and seconded by Mr. Norton. It was approved.
Item 16. Amber Thurston, the Executive Assistant, presented for consideration approval to combine the November and December ATCOG Board meetings into one Board of Directors meeting on Thursday, December 6, 2018. Due to previous engagements and other regional meetings, the Board voted to change the date to
December 13, 2018.
The motion for the new date was made by Mr. Fisher and seconded by Mayor Ransom. It was approved.
Item 17. Mr. Brown provided an update on the TxDOT County Road Inventory form process. Per TxDOT, each county is responsible for submitting their own changes but can assign ATCOG as the third-party designee. This item was for information only, so no approval was needed.
Item 18. Mr. Brown presented the Executive Director Report, as follows:
a) Homeland Security Quarterly Report and Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes, for information only.
b) Update on Franklin County Meal Center – Senior Citizens is no longer providing meals for Franklin County, as they are now offering their own meals.
c) ATCOG has received a total of $63,650 in restitution from North East Texas Opportunities
(NETO). These funds will be reserved for use by the Transportation program.
Item 19. Mr. Brown introduced Melody Harmon, Economic Development Specialist, as ATCOG’s 2018 Employee of the Year. Judge Williamson presented her with a plaque of appreciation.
Mr. Brown announced the 3rd Annual Rural Transportation Summit will be held on November 1 in Sulphur Springs. He also announced that Legislative visits will be held in Austin during the last week in February 2019.
Ms. Thurston announced the next joint North East Texas Rural Planning Organization and ATCOG Executive Committee Meeting will be held Thursday, October 25, 2018, at 10:00 a.m., at the Titus County Extension Office in Mt. Pleasant.
Judge Munkres thanked everyone for attending the meeting today and reminded them to stay for lunch. There were no other announcements, so the motion to adjourn was made by Mayor Wims and seconded by Councilman Trenado. The meeting was adjourned.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT
L.D. Williamson, Judge, Red River County
M.C. (Chuck) Superville, Jr., Judge, Lamar County
Scott Lee, Judge, Franklin County
Lynda Munkres, Judge, Morris County
Billy Trenado, Councilman, City of Paris
Emily Glass, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Sulphur Springs
Brady Fisher, Northeast Texas Resource Conservation & Development District
Scott Norton, TexAmericas Center
Stan Wyatt, Northeast Texas Municipal Water District
Travis Ransom, Mayor, City of Atlanta
Teresia Wims, Mayor, City of Mt. Vernon
Bob Thorne, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Daingerfield
Ray Wilson, Office of Senator Bryan Hughes
Randy Reed, NETX Workforce Solutions
April Corbit, NETX Workforce Solutions
Kiann Richardson, NETX Workforce Solutions
Susan Thorne, Member of the Public
Chris Brown, Executive Director
Mary Beth Rudel, Deputy Director
Amber Thurston, Executive Assistant
Lisa Reeve, Area Agency on Aging Manager
Melinda Tickle, Finance Manager
Leslie McBride, Human Resources Manager
Rea Washington, 9-1-1 Operations Manager
Mae Lewis, Housing Manager
Mark Compton, Transportation Manager
Nancy Hoehn, Regional Development Coordinator
Patricia Haley, Criminal Justice Coordinator
Paul Prange, Environmental Resources Coordinator
Whitney Fezell, Homeland Security Coordinator
Melody Harmon, Economic Development Specialist
L.D. Williamson, President
Ark-Tex Council of Governments
ARK-TEX COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS
APPLICATION / PROJECT STAFF REVIEW FOR
Project SAI No: TX-R-20181113-0001-05 Date Received: 11-01-18 Staff Assignment:
Applicant: Texas Department of Transportation, Maintenance Division Project Description: The Texas Department of Transportation, Maintenance Division, has applied to Texas
Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to renew Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (TPDES) Permit No. WQ0012009001 to authorize the discharge of treated wastewater at a volume not to exceed a daily average flow of 7,500 gallons per day. The facility is located at 4871 U.S. Highway 59 North within the right-of-way of U.S. Highway 59, approximately 6.5 miles northeast of the City of Linden in Cass County, Texas. The discharge route is from the plant site via a gravity pipe; thence to Frazier Creek; thence to James Bayou.
The area to be served: Cass County, Texas.
Does the project comply or furnish reasonable assurances of compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and ordinances? Yes. The TCEQ executive director has determined that the application is administratively complete and has completed a technical review of the application. Is the project consistent with state, areawide, and/or local planning or does it contribute toward goals or objectives identified at one or more of governmental levels? Yes. This permit application meets all statutory and regulatory requirements.
Has this project been coordinated through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality? Yes, coordination is in progress.
Does the project address a clearly defined need and does the plan take into account the preservation of the environment? There is a clearly defined need for the renewal of this TPDES Permit to allow the continued operation of the domestic wastewater treatment facility. This facility serves the rest area located on U.S. Highway 59 North in Cass County, Texas. All guidelines required by TCEQ to protect the environment are being followed, thus minimal
disruption of the situation is expected.
Is the project likely to produce any significant adverse effects on the environment? No. The renewal of this permit will not authorize an increase in the number of gallons of treated wastewater that can be discharged into the environment. This facility was constructed around 1978 and is in excellent working condition as a result of upgraded blowers and airlines. Before being released, the water passes through particulate filters and is then fed through a
gravity pipe. Do the anticipated accomplishments of the project justify the disruption to the environment? Yes. The renewal of this permit will allow the continued operation of this facility, which directly serves the needs of travelers who utilize this rest area. The disruption of the environment is minimal compared to the accomplishments.
STAFF ASSESSMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT: The permit renewal will not create any significant detrimental impact on the environment, as determined by TCEQ.
RECOMMENDED COMMENT: Staff recommends support of this permit renewal application by the Texas Department of Transportation, Maintenance Division.
RESOLUTION NO. BD19-001
RESOLUTION OF THE ARK-TEX COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS WITH REVIEW AND COMMENT ON THE PROPOSED RENEWAL OF TEXAS POLLUTANT DISCHARGE ELIMINATION SYSTEM PERMIT NO. WQ0012009001, BY THE TEXAS COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY (TCEQ), FOR THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, MAINTENANCE DIVISION IN CASS COUNTY, TEXAS TO AUTHORIZE THE DISCHARGE OF TREATED WASTEWATER AT A VOLUME NOT TO EXCEED A DAILY AVERAGE FLOW OF 7,500 GALLONS PER DAY. THE FACILITY IS LOCATED AT 4871 U.S. HIGHWAY 59 NORTH WITHIN THE RIGHT-OF-WAY OF U.S. HIGHWAY 59, APPROXIMATELY 6.5 MILES NORTHEAST OF THE CITY OF LINDEN IN CASS COUNTY, TEXAS. THE DISCHARGE ROUTE IS FROM THE PLANT SITE VIA A GRAVITY PIPE; THENCE TO FRAZIER CREEK; THENCE TO JAMES BAYOU.
WHEREAS, under Section 204 of the Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act of 1966 and Title IV of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Act of 1968, the Ark-Tex Council of
Governments have been designated as the areawide agency to review specific projects; and
WHEREAS, it is desirable and in the public interest that individual development plans be discussed by the Ark-Tex Council of Governments for their consistency with the overall development of the Region, and any environmental impacts resulting wherefrom.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE ARK-TEX COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS:
Section 1 – That the Board of Directors recognizes the Executive Director as the Authorized Official, and he has been given the power to comment upon projects having an environmental impact. This application has been reviewed by the Board of Directors
and can reasonably be approved.
Section 2 – That the permit mentioned above is desirable and needed for continued development in the Region.
REVIEWED AND APPROVED THIS 13TH DAY OF DECEMBER, 2018.
L. D. Williamson, President
Ark-Tex Council of Governments
Memorandum of Understanding
Ark-Tex Council of Governments and
The purpose of this document is to define the requirements of _____County, through the Ark-Tex Council of Governments (ATCOG) COG Managed Project (CMP) utilizing funds provided by the Solid Waste Pass-Through Grant Program from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
II. Duration and Modification of Agreement
The agreement will be in effect for the FY 2019 funding period beginning September 1, 2018, and ending August 31, 2019. However, the due date for completion of the cleanup event is June 15, 2019. This will allow time for submission of invoices, project tracking forms, and reimbursement to take place before August 31, 2019.
The Agreement may be amended at any time in writing and by mutual consent of the Agencies. Each Agency may cancel its participation in the Agreement upon thirty (30) days written notice to the other Agency. When the cancellation is for cause, i.e., a material and significant breach of any of the provisions of this Agreement, it may be canceled upon delivery of written notice to the other Agency.
The Ark-Tex Council of Governments (ATCOG) will provide funding for $4,500.00 to _____ County. The funds are to be used to implement a Community Cleanup Event and/or to purchase
educational outreach materials to be distributed to residents within the county to improve environmental awareness. ATCOG encourages the county to provide matching funds or in-kind services to increase the effectiveness of the cleanup event. However, it is not a requirement to be eligible to receive funds from ATCOG. Each County Judge may use his/her discretion in selecting an eligible entity to oversee the implementation of the cleanup event, such as a County Commissioner, City Manager, or Superintendent of an Independent School District.
_____ County will be responsible for scheduling the cleanup event, procuring roll-off dumpsters, and monitoring the activities during the event. The county must also notify the ATCOG Environmental Resources Coordinator at least two weeks before the scheduled event, so ATCOG staff can conduct a site visit. ATCOG will reimburse the county for expenses up to $4,500.00 upon
receiving an invoice from the county indicating proper disposal of the items collected at the cleanup event. ATCOG also encourages the county to divert any recyclable items from the waste stream to a materials recovery facility (MRF).
IV. Schedule of Reporting Accomplishments
The Ark-Tex Council of Governments (ATCOG) requires _____ County to submit an annual report upon completion of the project and will provide two project tracking forms that must be completed by the county, as well.
The undersigned Agencies bind themselves to the faithful performance of this Agreement. It is mutually understood that this Agreement shall not be effective until approved by all Agencies involved.
_____ County Judge Date
Paul Prange Date
Environmental Resources Coordinator
Ark-Tex Council of Governments
ARK-TEX COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS
APPLICATION / PROJECT STAFF REVIEW
Project SAI No:
City of Leary
Project Title: Loan X
USDA Rural Development Grant X
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Community Facilities
Installation of a new elevated water storage tank on existing City owned property
Budget: Amount Source / Funding Agency
Federal 960,000.00 USDA (estimate)
PROJECT REVIEW: (PROVIDE ADEQUATE DETAIL)
Area to be served:
City of Leary
Does the project comply or furnish reasonable assurances of compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and ordinances?
Yes. According to City Manager
Is the project consistent with state, areawide, and local planning or does it contribute toward goals or objectives identified at one or more of governmental levels?
The installation of the water storage tank will improve the water capacity for the City of Leary
Does the project address a clearly defined need?
The City of Leary has identified the need for a new elevated water storage tank.
Is the project likely to produce any significant adverse effects on the environment?
Are the project’s goals identified, specific, measurable, and achievable?
According to engineer’s report submitted to USDA.
Does the proposal demonstrate a feasible delivery strategy?
Does the project contribute to a balanced delivery of services among political subdivisions covered by the
The water storage tank will provide water to the City of Leary, Texas.
Do the anticipated accomplishments of the project justify the number of funds requested?
(Cost / Benefit Analysis)
The funds will be utilized for the entire purchase price of the elevated water storage tank through the normal bid
Does the applicant’s prior performance indicate a high probability that the proposed objectives will be accomplished?
The City of Leary has received various grants from the USDA that have resulted in successful projects.
Staff recommends a favorable review.
RESOLUTION NO. BD19-004
RESOLUTION OF THE ARK-TEX COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS WITH REVIEW AND COMMENT ON AN APPLICATION BY THE CITY OF LEARY TO THE USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT FOR A GRANT/LOAN IN THE ESTIMATED AMOUNT OF $960,000.000 FOR A NEW ELEVATED WATER STORAGE TANK.
WHEREAS, under Section 204 of the Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act of 1966 and Title IV of the Intergovernmental Cooperative Act of 1968, the Ark-Tex Council of Governments has been designated as the area-wide agency to
review specific applications for which federal financial assistance is requested, and
WHEREAS, it is desirable and in the public interest that certain development plans be considered by the Ark-Tex Council of Governments for their consistency with the overall development of the Region.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE ARK-TEX COUNCIL OF
Section 1 – That the submission of an application by the City of Leary to the USDA Rural Development for a loan/grant in the estimated amount of $960,000.00 for the installation of a new elevated water storage tank has been reviewed by the Board of Directors and can reasonably be expected to become part of the overall regional plan.
Section 2 – That the improvements mentioned above are desirable and urgently needed for public safety and welfare.
REVIEWED AND APPROVED THIS 13th DAY OF DECEMBER, 2018.
L. D. Williamson, President
Ark-Tex Council of Governments
BRIEFING PAPER – ACTION ITEM
Review and consider approval of revisions to the Ark-Tex Council of Governments (ATCOG) Policies and Procedures Manual and ATCOG Ethics Policy Manual.
The Board of Directors is required to approve all revisions to the Policies and Procedures Manual. All proposed changes are attached.
The following revisions to the Policy and Procedures Manual are being proposed:
3.07 Gifts and Gratuities. The wording at the beginning of the section is being changed to match the ATCOG Ethics Policy. Other revisions are included to clarify when gifts or donations can be solicited or accepted.
6.14 Cancellation Upon Termination. This revision removes an exception for sick leave compensation upon termination. The exemption applied only to staff hired before October 4, 1985, which is no longer applicable.
6.18 Leave of Absence. This revision specifies that in addition to annual leave, personal days and sick leave (if applicable) must be exhausted before the leave of absence without pay will be approved.
6.22 Compensatory Leave. This addition to the policy provides guidance regarding the use of compensatory leave.
7.09 Employee Recognition. This section clarifies the Employee of the Year nomination rules and who serves on the Employee Recognition Selection Committee.
9.07 Overtime – General. This section defines the employee’s responsibility to adjust his/her schedule with the supervisor’s approval so as not to exceed 40 hours worked in a seven-day workweek when possible.
13.08 Calculation of Separation of Pay. This revision clarifies who is eligible to use sick leave after a letter of intent to resign is submitted and the reason it is allowed.
17.00 Travel and Subsistence. These revisions will enable the use of a rental car for day travel when it’s the most economical option; provide guidelines for hotel reservations and return times;
Include updated instructions for Day and Overnight Travel Expense Reports as well as several minor changes not affecting the context of the policies.
If approved by the Board, the policy revisions will be distributed to all employees and added to our Policies and Procedures Manual.
The following revisions to the Ethics Policy Manual are being proposed:
VII. Gift and Honoraria. The wording in paragraph 1 is being changed to match the ATCOG Policies and Procedures Manual to clarify when gifts or donations can be solicited or accepted.
Staff recommends approval of all revisions to the Policies and Procedures Manual and Ethics policy manual in the sections as outlined above.
3.07 GIFTS AND GRATUITIES
Employees and officers of Ark-Tex Council of Governments (ATCOG) are prohibited from accepting any favor or gift from a person who wants, or may wish to, or may be seen to desire, official support within the authority of that employee or officer. It is unethical for any ATCOG employee to accept or give a gift that is meant to sway a decision in favor of the gift-giver.
Employees may not:
1. An employee shall not Solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, or any other thing of monetary value, from a person who has, or is seeking to obtain, contractual or other business or financial relations with ATCOG
for private interests of the employee. However, this paragraph does not prohibit soliciting or accepting donations or gifts from companies, regardless of relationship to ATCOG, for agency-wide events such as those for employee appreciation and holiday
celebrations where items will be distributed among employees at random.
2. An employee shall not Solicit a contribution from another employee for a gift to an official superior, make a donation as a gift to an official superior, or accept an award from an employee receiving less pay than himself. However, this paragraph does not
prohibit a voluntary contribution of nominal value or donation in a nominal amount made on a special occasion such as marriage, illness, or retirement.
A gift or gratuity, the receipt of which is prohibited by this section, shall be returned to the donor with a written explanation why the return is necessary.
To promote open and honest communications in the workplace, the policy of ATCOG that secret tape recordings of conversations are prohibited. This policy will preserve the integrity of agency operations and prevent any disruptions that might arise by the absence of open communications within the workplace, as well as avoid violations of any Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and/or client confidentiality laws within our programs.
1. Prohibited secret recordings include video recording, audio recording, and the use of electronic devices, including cell phones.
2. Any employee who wishes to record a conversation for a legitimate business need must receive prior consent of all parties to the discussion.
3. Any employee who secretly records conversations at work is in violation of ATCOG policy.
Violations of this policy will result in disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination.
Phone lines used for transportation dispatch will be recorded at all times for quality assurance, quality control, and employee protection. All calls on these phone lines will be recorded, which
includes external incoming calls, intradepartmental calls, and outgoing calls.
6.14 CANCELLATION UPON TERMINATION
Unused sick leave is canceled upon termination of employment without compensation to the employee. except for employees hired before October 4, 1985, who are entitled to receive
payment of one full day’s salary to three full days of accumulated sick leave.
6.18 LEAVE OF ABSENCE
Pre-approved leave of absence without pay is an approved absence from duty in a non-pay status that has been scheduled in advance. Extensions may be granted for not more than ten (10) working days.
1. Granting a pre-approved leave of absence without pay for not more than five (5) working days in any one year requires the approval of the Director.
2. Granting a pre-approved leave of absence without paying more than five (5) working days in any one year requires Executive Director approval.
3. Such leave is authorized when all annual leave, sick leave (if applicable to the situation), and personal days have been exhausted, and there is a reasonable expectation that the employee will return to employment at the conclusion of the approved period.
4. Employees on leave of absence without pay accrue no benefits. However, previously accrued benefits, (except paid leave) and seniority are retained during leaves of absence unless otherwise prohibited by the terms or provisions of the benefit programs.
5. Medical insurance can be continued if the employee pays the premiums (including ATCOG’s portion) in full before commencing leave of absence. ATCOG’s benefit plan or insurer may limit the length of time the medical benefits may be continued.
6. Extensions of pre-approved leave without pay will require the approval of the Executive Director.
7. Except as required by law, no approved leave of absence may last longer than 180 consecutive days. Any employee who, for any reason or combinations of reasons, is absent from the job for a total of 180 consecutive calendar days of work in 12 months period will be terminated. The Human Resources Office will process the employee’s termination on the 181st day. This policy does not affect any benefits or rights granted by law.
6.22 COMPENSATORY LEAVE
Employees who work more than 40 hours in a seven-day workweek will be compensated with compensatory leave at one and one-half hours times the overtime hours worked. Compensatory leave is credited to an employee’s account on the last day of each pay period and is not available for use until the beginning of the next pay period. Pay instead of compensatory leave is not permitted
other than upon separation. Employees must use all compensatory time before using annual or sick leave unless annual will meet maximum accrual within 30 days. Employees with 20 or more
compensatory hours must schedule leave and be given priority for that leave to be taken. Employees must schedule accrued compensatory hours within 12 months of accrual.
7.09 EMPLOYEE RECOGNITION
1. An award for an exceptional performance entitled “Employee of the Year” will be granted to an employee one time per year. All regular full-time or part-time employees who have satisfactorily completed the introductory period are eligible for nomination, except for the standing members of the Employee Recognition Selection Committee. Employees who have been previously recognized may not be nominated for four (4) years from the period
for which they are recognized. Any ATCOG employee can nominate another employee provided the nominee is not his/her supervisor or anyone in the nominator’s chain of command – both downward and upward. The Executive Director, and Division Deputy Director and Human Resource Officer are not eligible to nominate an
employee. Nominations letters should be typed, signed by the nominator(s), and hand delivered or emailed to the Human Resource Officer (HRO) to hold for the Employee Recognition Selection Committee meeting. Anonymous nominations will not be accepted.
2. Criteria for nominations may include, but is not limited to:
a. Work of exceptional quality and/or quantity.
b. Use of creative, innovative, or time or cost-saving method to produce a desired project or service.
c. Evidence of initiative, responsibility, and/or growth within the position.
d. The contribution to intra and inter-departmental cooperation.
e. Evidence of consistent dependability, reliability, and punctuality.
f. Representation of ATCOG in a positive manner in all external contacts (i.e., general public, elected officials, funding agencies, contractors/vendors, etc.) Nominations are confidential, and nominees are not to be told they have been nominated. Nominations for Employee of the Year must be submitted during August each year. Nominations will be accepted beginning the first business day of August and must be submitted no later than the first business day in September.
3. Members of the Employee Recognition Selection Committee will serve for four (4) years. As an employee is selected for recognition, that employee will then become a member of the Committee and the oldest-serving current member will rotate off. In the event, a committee member leaves employment with ATCOG, the Deputy Director and/or Human Resource Officer will fill the vacancy as needed. After the nomination deadline, the Committee will meet to discuss the nominations and select an employee. The Executive Director will be a permanent member of the Committee and will vote in case of a tie. The recipient of “Employee of the Year” will be recognized in the following manner.
a. In September, an agency-wide staff meeting will be called or an Employee Appreciation Day will be held to announce and recognize the employee selected. The nominator will recognize the recipient’s contributions and/or the Executive Director will present his the letter of congratulations.
b. A memorandum announcing and recognizing the employee selected will be distributed to all ATCOG staff. The nomination and letter of congratulations will be placed in the recipient’s Official Personnel File. The recipient’s name will be added to a plaque
in the reception area.
c. The recipient will be recognized at the ATCOG Board Meeting in September and will be presented by the nominator(s) or the Executive Director. The President of the Board of Directors will give a plaque to the recipient.
d. The recipient will receive eight (8) hours of administrative leave to be taken at a time agreeable to the recipient and supervisor.
e. Information concerning the “Employee of the Year” recipient along with a photo may be submitted to the local newspaper in the area where the recipient resides, if applicable.
9.07 OVERTIME – GENERAL
The policy of ATCOG is to prevent overtime, whenever possible. However, nonexempt employees may be required to provide services in addition to regular hours or on weekends or holidays.
Overtime is defined as hours worked more than the allowable number of hours under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): 40 hours per seven-day workweek. Under the FLSA, overtime applies only to nonexempt employees.
1. ATCOG is a public employer and is subject to the public employer provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act that may differ slightly, regarding overtime, from those of a private employer.
2. Procedures will be developed following the FLSA.
3. When possible, employees should adjust their work schedules so as not to exceed 40 hours worked in a seven-day workweek. Work schedule adjustments must be approved by the supervisor.
4. All overtime hours must be approved by the supervisor.
5. Hours worked more than 40 hours in a seven-day workweek will be compensated with compensatory time off at one and one-half hours times the overtime hours worked.
6. Employees must use all compensatory time before using annual or sick leave unless annual leave will meet maximum accrual within 30 days.
7. Those employees with 20 or more compensatory hours must schedule leave and be given priority for that leave to be taken. Employees must record accrued compensatory hours within 12 months of accrual.
13.08 CALCULATION OF SEPARATION PAY
1. Upon separation from ATCOG employment, an employee who has completed the introductory period will be paid for accrued and unused vacation leave up to the maximum allowable accumulation limit.
2. Payment for such leave balances will be calculated in the following manner:
a. The total work time and eligible vacation (see section on “Annual Leave” to determine allowable vacation) and compensatory leave time (for nonexempt employees) will be calculated as the total number of hours for which compensation is due times the employee’s hourly rate. Any amount paid for unused vacation or
compensatory time will be based on the hourly rate in effect for the employee at the time of termination.
b. Compensatory time which has been entered and carried on a nonexempt employee’s records at one or one and one-half times the number of hours worked will be paid at the employee’s regular straight-time rate for the total number of hours on the employee’s compensatory time record. Since the compensatory time was recorded at one or one and one-half times the number of hours worked, the payment for these hours is equivalent to time and one-half pay for the hours actually worked.
c. Unused sick leave shall be canceled upon termination of employment, and the employee shall not be compensated for it. Employees who submit a letter of intent to resign or who verbally notify their supervisor of their intention to quit are not eligible for any sick leave benefits from the date the message is received by his/her supervisor through the last date of employment. Note: This policy does not apply to employees in management and/or supervisory roles who submit a letter of intent to resign more than a month before the anticipated resignation date due to the amount of time needed to replace tenured the employees. See Paragraph 6.14 for an exception to this policy.
Annual leave or leaves of absence may be taken in conjunction with authorized travel when approved in advance by the appropriate Program Manager and/or Director, or the Executive Director as applicable. Alternate routes that are desirable because of the personal leave of the traveler can be used, but only on the traveler’s time and with the traveler bearing any additional cost of the alternate route. Normal travel departure times and dates related to ATCOG business will be used for determining expense reimbursement.
17.00 TRAVEL AND SUBSISTENCE
ATCOG will reimburse employees for necessary, reasonable and documented travel expenses incurred while performing their duties or while on official ATCOG business that complies with
approved procedures. Note: Wherever policy states receipts are required for reimbursement, meals are always excluded.
1. Employees shall be entitled to transportation, accommodations, and other services which are reasonable and necessary and meet adequate quality standards for convenience, safety, and comfort. Travelers shall, whenever possible, use the most economical accommodations and mode of transportation which meet reasonable requirements. Employees engaged in necessary and authorized travel to conduct ATCOG business will be reimbursed for allowable costs and documented expenses required to do the business of ATCOG.
Reimbursable expenses generally will be for transportation, lodging, parking, tolls, and taxi, and meals if an overnight stay is required. Original receipts, or a certification of expense explaining why a receipt was not available, must accompany any request for
2. Expenses which are not allowed under the terms of grants, contracts, or agreements, ATCOG has made with other agencies will not be reimbursed.
3. Where travel expenses exceed state or federal grant or contract limitations, the respective agency and, thus, ATCOG will only reimburse to specific limits or may deny payment entirely to employees who have received a written warning within a 6 months period for failure to submit travel expense vouchers on a timely basis, or employees who file for travel reimbursement after a program has been closed out.
4. ATCOG reserves the right to audit, review, investigate, or otherwise scrutinize any questionable request for travel reimbursement and delay or deny payments of same if such
request is suspected or shown to contain fraudulent information, mathematical errors, or is not in conformance with reimbursement policies and procedures.
5. Coordination of travel must occur when two or more employees are traveling on the same dates with the same itinerary to conduct ATCOG business in a personally owned or leased motor vehicle. Mileage to meet or pick up other employees may be reimbursable. Also, the travel voucher should state why the number of travelers was needed to conduct official ATCOG business.
17.02 DAY TRAVEL
1. Day travel will be by rental vehicle or the employee personal vehicles’- personal vehicle or another employer-provided mode of transportation and, whichever option is most economical and feasible.
1.2. When traveling by personal vehicle, mileage will be reimbursed at a rate up to the Internal Revenue rate for the average per mile cost of operation, unless otherwise explicitly mandated by contract or funding agency. Any exception will be on a case-by-case basis and must be pre-approved by the Executive Director. ATCOG will not reimburse for meal expenses unless an overnight stay is required.
3. When traveling by rental vehicle, a requisition with estimated costs must be approved in advance. The rental car should be procured through an ATCOG rental account unless a vehicle is not available or a lower rate is available elsewhere.
2.4. Travel between an employee’s residence and ATCOG office (or place where employee usually offices) is not eligible for reimbursement. However, an employee who leaves his residence en route to another point, not his usual or customary reporting point or office, shall be reimbursed mileage for the lesser of
either distance from the employee’s residence to the point of destination or from the general office or work site to the end of the goal.
3.5. When two or more employees travel in a single automobile vehicle, only the employee whose car is being utilized will receive mileage reimbursements.
4.6. Employees may request and, if approved, receive an advance for day travel.
See Section 17.08, TRAVEL ADVANCES.
17.03 DAY TRAVEL EXPENSE REPORT
Employees will document all Dday travel expenses by completing the Day Travel Expense Report at the conclusion of each trip by the following procedures. Reimbursement of travel expenses must be approved by the appropriate Manager, or Director and/or the Executive Director.
1. Any travel completed in one day does not require prior approval other than from the immediate supervisor/manager or director. However, supervising personnel may require the preparation of monthly itineraries to monitor travel for necessity, efficient scheduling, and cost. (If an overnight trip is needed, please refer to Section 17.04 for instructions.)
2. Employees will submit a completed Day Travel Expense Report form to the Finance Office a minimum of once each month for reimbursement of known travel expenses. The green Day Travel Expense Report form is to be used to document the travel and for
payment of Day travel expenses, except those involving cash advances, and should be completed as follows:
a. Complete Name and Address of traveler, Period Covered by this Report, and Destination and Purpose sections;
b. Period covered by this report;
c. CommentsDestination and Purpose;
d. List actual expenses under the actual Amount column for transportation and other expenses individually identified (See 17.06 Travel Expense Provisions) and attach all original expense receipts and documentation;
e. For travel by personal vehicle, transportation mileage reimbursement can be calculated using: (1) the Google automatic search engine, or (2) Odometer readings on a Point-to-Point basis. c Complete the sections on the back page: information for d Dates involved, m Miles, Odometer (point-to-point odometer readings or
reference Google Maps) and the section on d Destination and p Purpose, and list the total miles on the front page under Expenses: a. Transportation; The Miles column on the back page and the total miles on the front page in the Number column will calculate automatically once the odometer readings are entered. If using Google Maps mileage, enter the number of miles from point-to-point in the Miles column on the back page. The total miles on the front page in the Number column will calculate automatically once the miles are entered;
f. For travel by rental vehicle, mileage will not be reimbursed. Enter a zero for the total miles on the front page for Expenses: A. Transportation in the Number column. List the total amount of fuel used for the rental vehicle on the front page for Expenses: E. Fuel in the Amount column.
fg. The T total of all actual expenses in the Amount column will calculate automatically and put under total expense;
h. Enter project codes to which expenses are to be charged and the amount or percentage to be charged to each project;
gi. Traveler shall Print and sign the form and attach all necessary documentation and receipts;
hj. Traveler’s supervisor Manager or Director shall review and sign the form;
ik. Required approval shall be obtained;
jl. Enter project codes to which expenses are to be charged and the amount to be charged to each project;
km. Subsequent to Manager or Director approval, S submit the form with appropriate approval(s) and attachments documentation to the Purchasing box.designated Finance office. Finance staff will review the form for accuracy and confirm available funds before submitting to the Executive Director for final approval.
17.04 OVERNIGHT TRAVEL
ATCOG will reimburse employees who travel overnight for reasonable and necessary expenses allowable following this policy.
1. All overnight travel must be pre-approved utilizing an Overnight Travel Expense f Form regardless whether a cash advance is requested or not. (See 14.05 Overnight Expense Reports)
2. Overnight travel may be by either private or commercial transportation; however, the mode will be at the discretion of the appropriate Manager or Director and should be the most economical and feasible option.
3. Commercial air transportation will be reimbursed based on the most economical fares available.
4. Overnight travel by personal vehicle will be reimbursed at the lesser of actual mileage at current ATCOG mileage or the actual cost of airfare or rental vehicle at the most economical fares available. When two or more employees travel in a single vehicle, only the employee whose vehicle is being utilized will receive mileage reimbursements.
5. Commercial bus/train transportation will be reimbursed based on the lesser of the actual bus/train fare, or actual mileage at current ATCOG mileage rates, or the most economical fares available.
6. Auto Vehicle rental in conjunction with commercial air transportation must be approved in advance of scheduled travel date and will be reimbursed on an actual cost basis.
5. 7. Auto Vehicle rental, when used as the primary means of transportation, shall be approved in advance and will be reimbursed at the lesser of the actual rental cost, actual mileage at current ATCOG mileage rates, or the cost of airfare at the most economical fare available. In such instances, when more than one staff person travels by the same automobile, mileage expense will be reimbursed to the staff person incurring said expense. The rental vehicle should be procured through an ATCOG rental account unless a vehicle is not available or a lower rate is available elsewhere.
6.8. Lodging reservations should correlate to meeting/training schedules. Employees should not reserve an additional hotel night if the employee can arrive home safely by 9pm including stops for meals and fuel (i.e., Meeting is 3 hours from home and concludes at 5pm. Meeting is 6 hours from home and concludes at 2pm.). When possible, employees should adjust their work schedules so as not to exceed 40 hours worked in a seven-day workweek. Work
schedule adjustments must be approved by the supervisor. The Executive Director may approve exceptions on a case by case basis.
17.05 OVERNIGHT TRAVEL EXPENSE REPORTS
1. Overnight travel must be pre-approved by completing an Overnight Travel Expense r Report form. An Overnight Travel Expense Report form must be submitted regardless whether or not a cash advance is requested.
2. The traveling employee must provide an Overnight Travel Expense R report form documenting actual expenses as soon as possible once travel is complete. Failure to do so will result in the employees not being reimbursed for their his or her costs.
3. Before the trip, Fill in full the Overnight Travel Expense Report F form as follows (Do NOT separate the form until the portion required for approval to travel has been completed and signatures have been obtained Note: This is a two-part process and will result in two forms being submitted to finance.):
a. Complete Name, and a Address, Destination, Purpose and Travel Dates sections;
b. Destination and purpose;
c. Period covered by the report;
List the project(s) to which expenses are to be charged and include the expense amounts or percentages;
d. Expenses A-F: Estimate dollar amounts in the “Advance” column for cumulative per diem or individual meals, if applicable, hotel, ground transportation and other
(See Travel Expense Provisions); c. List Expenses in the Advance section (see 17.06 Travel Expense Provisions):
i. Complete the No. and Rate columns for all applicable expenses including those directly billed to ATCOG (registration, airfare, rental vehicle). The Estimated Cost column amounts and total estimated expenses amounts calculate automatically;
ii. If any expenses are charged separately to the ATCOG credit card (e.g., hotel, airfare) or an ATCOG account (rental vehicle account), note the amount(s) in the Direct Bill column. The total direct bill amount calculates automatically;
iii. If an advance is being requested, note the requested amount(s) in the Advance column. The total advance amount calculates automatically;
e. Total all estimated expenses, A-F, representing the total advance being requested, or show “0” if no advance is requested;
f. Use the Remarks section to explain exceptions requests before travel (e.g., if host hotel rate exceeds the GSA rate); Use this area to indicate if a rental car is to be obtained whether or not an advance amount is requested. Also, use this area to indicate if an advance to pay for an airline ticket only is needed and indicate date needed;
Save the form electronically to complete the Reimbursement section upon return from travel.
g. Traveler shall Print and sign the form and attach all necessary documentation including an agenda and hotel, airfare, and/or rental vehicle reservations;
h. Traveler’s supervisor Manager or Director shall review and sign the form;
i. Required advance approval(s) shall be obtained;
j. After Manager or Director approval for overnight travel, the top
page, or white sheet, i.e., “FINANCE COPY (ADVANCE)” shall be
separated from the form and submitted to the designated Finance office.
Submit the form and documentation to the Purchasing box. Finance staff will review the form for accuracy and confirm available funds before submitting to the Executive Director for final approval. (If an advance is being requested due to short travel notice and cannot be run with the regular accounts payable due to short travel notice, verbally advise Finance of this situation when submitting the form);
k. Retain the yellow and pink sheets of the form for use in filing actual expenses.
4. Upon completion of travel After travel is completed, the actual travel expenses shall be reported in the Reimbursement section on the previously saved form as follows:
a. Period covered by reportTravel dates will be changed if travel dates were approved to be replaced after pre-approval;
b. Record A actual times of departure and return should be recorded;
c. Projects to which expenses are to be charged, and amount to be charged to each project;
d. List actual costs under the “Reimbursement” section including direct bill expenses. Amounts in the Actual column will calculate automatically;
; a column for airfare, mileage, meal allowance, hotel, hotel taxes, ground transportation, and other (See Travel Expense Provisions) and attach all original expense receipts and documentation, including an agenda.
e. For mileage reimbursement, record odometer readings or indicate that Google Maps were used to calculate mileage in the Remarks section; complete the dates involved, number of miles, beginning and ending odometer readings, and the section on destination, purpose, departure, and arrival at the workstation on the back side of the yellow sheet. Total the number of miles at the bottom of the sheet and enter the number of miles on the front of the yellow sheet under “Expenses: A.
Transportation – Mileage, Reimbursement;
f. Total all expenses in the “Actual” column and enter the amount for “Total Expense”;
g. Enter the amount of advance in the “Actual” column at “Less Advance,” if an advance was requested; otherwise, show “0”;
h. Subtract the advance amount from the total expense amount and show the difference in the “Actual” column at “Total Due;”
i. If the total expenses amount exceeds the total of the direct bill and advance amounts combined, then the total due is the amount due to the employee by ATCOG;
j. If the total expenses amount is less than the total of the direct bill and advance
amounts combined, then the total due is the amount due ATCOG by the employee, and a check for that amount shall be attached to the Overnight t Travel e Expense
k. Traveler shall Print and sign the completed form and attach all necessary documentation including receipts;
l. Traveler’s supervisor Manager or Director shall review and sign the form;
m. Required approval(s) shall be obtained;
n. After Manager or Director approval, submit the form and
attachments/receipts to the Purchasing Box. Finance staff will review the form for accuracy and confirm available funds before submitting to the Executive Director for final approval. Form being approved, the yellow sheet, i.e., “FINANCE COPY” with all appropriate attachments shall be separated from the form and submitted to the designated Finance office;
o. The employee should retain the pink copy.
17.06 TRAVEL EXPENSE PROVISIONS
1. Personal Vehicle: Use of personal vehicles for ATCOG-related travel shall be reimbursed as provided in this Manual. With the exception of tolls and parking expenses, only mileage
may be reimbursed on a personal motor vehicle.Use of personal vehicles for ATCOGrelated
travel shall be reimbursed for mileage, tolls and parking expenses. Mileage
will be reimbursed at a rate up to the Internal Revenue rate for the average per mile cost of
operation, unless otherwise specifically mandated by contract or funding agency.
2. Commercial Transportation: Employees will purchase their own airline/bus/train tickets
using their own funds, or funds received in a cash advance, or by charging to the ATCOG
credit card. The used ticket must be attached to the Overnight Travel Expensetravel
expense r Report.
3. Lodging: Lodging expenses (room rate plus non-exempt tax) will be reimbursed based
upon federal travel regulations as adopted by the State of Texas and upon approved travel
departure/return schedules. Actual receipts for lodging must be attached to the Overnight
tTravel eExpense Rreport. Taxes are not included in the maximum lodging allowance, but
they must be notated on the expense report as “Hotel Taxes.” When no city or county is
listed in the Federal GSA, the maximum allowable daily reimbursement for lodging will
be as published in the annual GSA update.
4. Incidental Travel Costs: Expenses for taxis, other ground transportation, approved
registration fees, reception tickets (staff and members only), hotel taxes and other required
meeting expenses which are properly documented, will be reimbursed at actual cost. When
traveling by air, ATCOG will reimburse for one checked bag at regular weight [if you
check more than one bag or your one bag is overweight, you will be responsible for the
additional charge(s)]. A receipt is required for reimbursement for your one checked bag.
Other expenses, when itemized and properly documented and approved in advance by the
Executive Director, will be reimbursed at actual cost. When traveling on official business,
toll expenses are reimbursable without a receipt.
5. Meal Allowances: Use federal rates provided by the US General Services Administration
(GSA) to determine meal reimbursement. First and last day of travel will be reimbursed at
75% of the maximum allowable daily meal rate per GSA. When no city or county is listed
in the GSA, the maximum allowable daily reimbursement for meals will be as published
in the annual GSA update. Meal allowance may be reduced to increase lodging allowance.
Meal receipts are not required for reimbursement. NOTE: An overnight stay is required
for any meal reimbursements.
6. Mileage Reimbursement: TheMileage will be reimbursed at a rate up to the Internal
Revenue rate for the average per mile cost of operation, unless otherwise specifically
mandated by contract or funding agency. The amount of mileage reimbursement may not
exceed the number of miles traveled; and the applicable mileage rate. There are two
methods of calculation: (1) the Google electronic search engine, or (2) Odometer readings
on a Point-to-Point basis. The shortest route is presumed to be the most cost-effective.
The traveler’s statement is required if a longer route is considered to be a reasonably safer
route. Mileage while obtaining meals within a duty point is reimbursable, but only if the
meal expense is reimbursable. Mileage while obtaining meals outside a duty point is
reimbursable only to the boundary of the duty point.
7. Travel by Rental CarVehicle: Travel by rental car is allowable, but Rental vehicles
should be procured though an ATCOG account unless a vehicle is not available or a lower
rate is available elsewhere. Rental vehicle receipts must be original and complete. A
carbon copy of a rental vehicle receipt from the car rental company is acceptable. If
unavailable and a photocopy of receipt is used, the supporting documentation must include:
(1) the starting and ending dates of the rental; (2) the name of motor vehicle rental
company; (3) the name of the renter; and (4) an itemization of the expenses incurred.
Reimbursable costs include: (1) applicable taxes and similar mandatory charges; (2) a
charge for an additional driver only if the charge is incurred for an official business reason;
and (3) a charge for a collision damage waiver or a loss damage waiver unless the waiver
is included in the contracted rate for the rental. Non-Reimbursable costs include a charge
for a liability insurance supplement, personal accident insurance, safe trip insurance, or
personal effects insurance.
8. Travel Outside Texas, but within the Conterminous U.S.: When travel is approved for
outside the state of Texas, use federal rates to determine the maximum allowance for meals
and lodging. If the city or county is not listed in the federal guide, calculate the median
rate for meals and lodging separately. Meal allowance may be reduced to increase lodging
17.07 NON-REIMBURSABLE EXPENSES
Costs of personal entertainment, spouse’s expenses, amusements, social activities (not associated
with an official function), alcoholic beverages, gratuities, traffic citations, repairs to a personal
vehicle, or any illegal activity are not eligible for reimbursement.
17.08 TRAVEL ADVANCES AND APPROVAL
Employees may request travel advances by submitting such request in sufficient time to be included
in the regular accounts payable run prior to departure date. Special advance runs will involve short
notice travel. If prior approval to travel is required by the funding agency, such approval must be
attached to the Overnight Travel Request Expense Report Fform. No advances shall be processed
if the individual employee requesting the advance has any previous outstanding advances.
Exceptions may be granted when timing of travel requires. All cash advances will be cleared as
soon as possible.
17.09 REGISTRATION FEES
Registration fees for seminars and conferences will be paid by check or credit card and normally
will be paid directly to the organization sponsoring the seminar, conference or function. Advance
approval will be required by completing a Requisition and submitting it to the Finance Office for
17.10 TRAVEL REPORT ROUTING AND AUDIT
1. Upon submission to and review by the Finance Accounting Assistant, all travel reports will
be routed through the Finance Manager prior to payment. All travel reports shall be
complete, including signatures, receipts and documentation. Incomplete travel reports will
be returned to the employee and may result in the delay of payment.
2. Program auditors or monitors and the Finance Manager will make random periodic audits
of all travel reports. The Finance Manager, at his/her discretion, may contact persons
identified as visited by an employee during travel. Rand McNally and/or MapQuest will
be used as an audit tool to calculate mileage.
17.11 TRAVEL AND MOVING EXPENSES
Travel and/or moving expense involving applicants, new employees, or transferred employees may
be reimbursed by approval of the Executive Director. Approval of these types of expenses will be
determined on a case-by-case basis.
17.12 NON-TRAVEL EXPENSES
Non-travel related expenses incurred by an employee require pre-purchase approval on a
Requisition form authorizing issuance of a purchase order. Reimbursement for actual cost will be
filed on a Disbursement Voucher that must be signed and approved as required, with the requisition
form, yellow copy of the purchase order, and receipts attached.
ATCOG Ethics Policy Manual recommendations:
VII. GIFTS AND HONORARIA
A. GENERAL POLICY
Employees and officers of Ark-Tex Council of Governments (ATCOG) are prohibited
from accepting any favor or gift from a person who wants, or may want, or may be seen to
want, an official favor within the authority of that employee or officer.
B. GIFTS TO EMPLOYEES
It is unethical for any ATCOG employee to accept or give a gift that is meant to sway a
decision in favor of the gift-giver. Employees may not:
1. Solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, or any
other thing of monetary value, from a person who has, or is seeking to obtain,
contractual or other business or financial relations with ATCOG for private interests
of the employee. However, this paragraph does not prohibit soliciting or accepting
donations or gifts from businesses, regardless of relation to ATCOG, for agency-wide
events such as those for employee appreciation and holiday celebrations where items
will be distributed among employees randomly.
2. Solicit a contribution from another employee for a gift to an official superior, make a
donation as a gift to an official superior, or accept a gift from an employee receiving
less pay than the employee. However, this paragraph does not prohibit a voluntary gift
of nominal value or donation in a nominal amount made on a special occasion such as
marriage, illness, or retirement.
Any such gift or gratuity, the receipt of which is prohibited by this policy, shall be returned
to the donor with a written explanation as to why the return is necessary.
BRIEFING PAPER – ACTION ITEM
Review and consider annual renewal of the ATCOG Ethics Policy Manual and review
Transportation Program funding requirements pertaining to integrity and ethical behavior as
mandated by the Texas Transportation Commission and Texas Department of Transportation
On January 29, 2009, the Texas Transportation Commission adopted administrative rules that
require outside entities to implement internal ethics and compliance programs. In order to
remain eligible to receive the funding ATCOG is required to renew the manual annually. In
addition, another rule adopted on March 25, 2010, requires public transportation entities to
implement and enforce a compliance program meeting the minimum rules in order to be eligible
for state and federal funding awarded after January 1, 2011, by the Texas Transportation
The rules adopted by the Texas Transportation Commission established a framework for the
internal ethics and compliance program of any entity that receives financial assistance from the
department. The compliance program must satisfy certain requirements, with the goal of
discouraging fraud and illegal activity. TXDOT also instituted an internal ethics and compliance
program designed to further encourage ethical behavior within the department, as well as
compliance with the law and departmental policies.
As a result of these rules, the Ark-Tex Council of Governments (ATCOG) compiled an “Ethics
Policy Manual” consisting of sections covering all requirements, to include Record Retention,
Fraud, Equal Opportunity Employment, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Misconduct, Conflicts of
Interest, Personal Use of Property, and Gifts and Honoraria. The manual also includes a copy
of the Code of Ethics which mirrors that established by the American Society for Public
Administration and incorporates the general principles of ethical conduct set forth in Executive
Order 12674. This Ethics Policy Manual was approved by the Board of Directors on December
16, 2010, making our agency eligible to apply for and receive state and federal funding.
ATCOG enforces a compliance program by reviewing and providing all employees a copy of the
“Ethics Policy Manual” during new hire orientation; by conducting yearly Ethics Manual Training
that is mandatory for all employees; by reminding Board members of the standard of ethical
behavior that our employees and board members must meet; by internal controls used to
monitor activities; and by conducting investigations of any alleged misconduct. A copy of the
Ethics Policy Manual is also available on the shared administration computer folder for constant
access by employees.
Staff recommends approval for the renewal of the Ethics Policy Manual. This also serves as a
reminder to all Board members of the ethical requirements we must meet to receive
Transportation funding and what is expected of them in their role as a member of the Board of
RESOLUTION NO. BD19-002
RESOLUTION OF THE ARK-TEX COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS FOR RENEWAL OF ETHICS POLICY
MANUAL FOR ARK-TEX COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS (ATCOG) DATED DECEMBER 16, 2010, AS
REVISED MARCH 27, 2014.
WHEREAS, the Ark-Tex Council of Governments is a Regional Planning Commission established pursuant to
the authority granted by Article 1011m, Revised Civil Statutes of Texas, and Arkansas Interlocal Cooperation
Act 430; and
WHEREAS, the Ark-Tex Council of Governments’ Board of Directors approved a new Ethics Policy Manual in
December 2010, as required by the Texas Transportation Commission in order to be eligible for state and
federal funding awarded after January 1, 2011; and
WHEREAS, annual renewal of the Ethics Policy Manual is required in order to remain eligible to receive
funding, such renewal being required by the Texas Department of Transportation the first month of the grant
WHEREAS, the new Transportation Program grant period begins October 1, 2018, making annual renewal
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE ARK-TEX COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS BOARD OF
Section 1 – That the Ark-Tex Council of Governments approves renewal of the Ethics Policy Manual as
adopted December 16, 2010, and revised March 27, 2014.
Section 2 – That the Ethics Policy Manual meets or exceeds the minimum requirements for a compliance
program as set forth by the Texas Transportation Commission, thus making ATCOG eligible to
receive state and federal funding.
Section 3 – That Ark-Tex Council of Governments’ staff have been trained on and adhere to all ethics
policies set forth in the Ethics Policy Manual, such training to be held annually.
Section 4 – That this Resolution shall be in effect immediately upon its execution.
REVIEWED AND APPROVED THIS 13th DAY OF DECEMBER 2018.
L. D. Williamson, President
Ark-Tex Council of Governments
BRIEFING PAPER – ACTION ITEM
Review and consider approval of updates to the Equal Employment Opportunity Plan as
required by the Texas Department of Transportation.
ATCOG Transportation Department has over 50 employees and is required to have an Equal
Employment Opportunity Plan in place per the Texas Department of Transportation. ATCOG is
required to make updates to this plan as needed.
The purpose of the Equal Employment Opportunity Plan is to affirm that ATCOG will provide a
work environment that is free from discrimination, including harassment, based on race, color,
national origin, religion, creed, sex, age, genetic information or disability.
The plan provides guidelines for employment practices, goals and timetables, the complaint
process and data representing the ATCOG workforce. This data includes demographics of
employees in each job category, salary ranges by job category, and employment practices such
as separations, disciplinary actions, promotions, and hiring.
The only updates made in the plan are to the Workforce Utilization Analysis. This section refers
to our employees’ demographics. ATCOG appears to have a commendable diversity of ethnicity
and gender in every job category. ATCOG has made an effort to recruit Hispanic/Latin
By approving the updates to the Equal Employment Opportunity Plan, ATCOG hereby affirms to
continue to commit to equal employment for all persons, regardless of race, color, creed,
national origin, genetic information, sex or age.
The Texas Department of Transportation has reviewed and approves the updates made in the
plan. Staff recommends approval of the updates to the Equal Employment Opportunity Plan as
required by the Texas Department of Transportation.
RESOLUTION NO. BD19-003
RESOLUTION OF THE ARK-TEX COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS FOR APPROVAL OF THE
UPDATES TO THE EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY PLAN FOR ARK-TEX COUNCIL
OF GOVERNMENTS (ATCOG) DATED JUNE 29, 2017.
WHEREAS, the Ark-Tex Council of Governments is a Regional Planning Commission
established pursuant to the authority granted by Article 1011m, Revised Civil Statutes of Texas,
and Arkansas Interlocal Cooperation Act 430; and
WHEREAS, the Texas Department of Transportation requires ATCOG to update the Equal
Employment Opportunity Plan in order to continue to receive funding (as defined in circular FTA
WHEREAS, the Equal Employment Opportunity Plan is required for ATCOG because our
Transportation Program exceeds 50 employees.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE ARK-TEX COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Section 1 – That the Ark-Tex Council of Governments approves updates to the Equal
Employment Opportunity Plan dated June 29, 2017.
Section 2 – That the Equal Employment Opportunity Plan meets or exceeds the minimum
requirements provided by the Texas Department of Transportation.
Section 3 – That all ATCOG employees will be informed of the Equal Employment
Opportunity Plan and will be given access to the plan on the web site and in
designated locations throughout the office buildings.
Section 3 – That this Resolution shall be in effect immediately upon its execution.
REVIEWED AND APPROVED THIS 13th DAY OF DECEMBER 2018.
L. D. Williamson, President
Ark-Tex Council of Governments
BRIEFING PAPER – ACTION ITEM
Review and consider approval of the Ark-Tex Council of Governments’ (ATCOG) Threat
and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA), State Preparedness Report
(SPR), and the Homeland Security Implementation Plan for 2019.
The State requires that each Council of Governments revise and submit their THIRA, SPR
and Regional Implementation Plan annually. The three documents are all interrelated and
provide an overview of the threats, risks, and resources in the ATCOG region. These
documents ensure that ATCOG is fully integrated into the State of Texas Homeland
Security Strategic Plan and has identified resources necessary to achieve homeland
security preparedness goals for fiscal year 2019.
These documents do not replace any existing Regional Plans, Mutual Aid Agreements or
strategies. Rather, it incorporates those existing plans, agreements and strategies. Also,
this plan does not preclude the use or activation of any existing plans or agreements that
an individual county may have with an entity that is outside the boundaries of the ATCOG.
The Homeland Security Advisory Committee approved the plan on November 15, 2018,
and recommends approval.
RESOLUTION NO. BD19-005
RESOLUTION OF THE ARK-TEX COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS WITH REVIEW, APPROVAL
AND ADOPTION OF THE ARK-TEX COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS HOMELAND SECURITY
THREAT AND HAZARD IDENTIFICATION RISK ASSESSMENT, STATE PREPAREDNESS
REPORT AND IMPLEMENTATION PLAN FOR 2019.
WHEREAS, these documents align with and support the intent of the general homeland security
strategy for the State established by the Governor in the Texas Homeland Security Strategic Plan.
These documents are for fiscal year 2018, and mirrors the guidelines and goals of the Texas
Homeland Security Strategic Plan.
WHEREAS, these documents ensure that the Ark-Tex Council of Governments is fully integrated
into the State of Texas Homeland Security Strategic Plan, and has identified the resources
necessary to achieve homeland security preparedness goals for fiscal year 2019.
WHEREAS, these documents do not replace any existing Regional Plans, Mutual Aid Agreements
or strategies. Rather, they incorporate those existing plans, agreements and strategies. Also, these
documents do not preclude the use or activation of any existing plans or agreements that an
individual county may have with an entity that is outside the boundaries of the ATCOG.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED BY THE ARK-TEX COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS:
Section 1 – That the purpose of the Ark-Tex Council of Governments Threat and Hazard
Identification and Risk Assessment, State Preparedness Report and Implementation
Plan is to set forth our homeland security preparedness and identify time, funds,
equipment, organization, planning, training, and exercises required to implement the
Section 2 – That the above mentioned documents are representative of the entire region.
REVIEWED AND ADOPTED THIS 13th DAY OF DECEMBER, 2018.
L.D. Williamson, President
Ark-Tex Council of Governments
Oct. 2018 Nov. 2018
Texarkana Rural 2074 1787
Bowie 852 654
Cass 991 929
Morris 231 204
Mt. Pleasant Rural 1462 1043
Titus 1325 928
Franklin 137 115
Sulphur Springs Rural 1704 1473
Franklin 84 76
Hopkins 1620 1397
Paris Rural 1276 1035
Delta 45 25
Lamar 1033 858
Red River 198 152
Paris Metro City Bus 4199 3538
Mt. Pleasant City Bus 1334 1180
TUTD Para-Transit 887 758
TOTAL TRIPS 12936 10814
Service YTD Totals
Congregate Meals 8,097
Unduplicated Persons 498
Home Delivered Meals 16,089
Unduplicated Persons 443
Unduplicated Persons 217
Reported Trips – Transportation
Area Agency on Aging
Revolving Loan Fund Balance as of 11/30/2018 Monthly Payment Interest Principal
City of Avery $ 149,873.72 $ 1,247.84 $ 376.86 $ 870.98
City of Deport $ 136,689.53 $ 1,065.00 $ 343.53 $ 721.47
Clarksville EDC $ 169,181.07 $ 1,931.21 $ 426.71 $ 1,504.50
Total $ 455,744.32 $ 4,244.05 $ 1,147.10 $ 3,096.95
Blackmon’s Pharmacy $ 164,099.28 $ 1,559.79 $ 447.45 $ 1,112.34
City of Leary $ 68,427.87 $ 690.58 $ 172.37 $ 518.21
Leigh Water Supply $ 351,326.18 $ 3,572.75 $ 885.03 $ 2,687.72
Marroquin $ 18,672.41 $ 632.89 $ 96.05 $ 536.84
Total $ 602,525.74 $ 6,456.01 $ 1,600.90 $ 4,855.11
ASI $ 109,116.64 $ 4,520.00 $ 306.93 $ 4,213.93
ESNR $ 39,307.27 $ 283.60 $ 106.94 $ 176.66
Paris Logistics $ 231,574.92 $ 1,701.59 $ 630.08 $ 1,071.51
$ 379,998.83 $ 6,505.19 $ 1,043.95 $ 5,462.10
Total RLF Funds Loaned $ 1,438,268.89 $ 17,205.25 $ 3,791.95 $ 13,414.16
We Pack Annual CD $ 162,322.81
Pd out annually
Dec and Jan $ 11,084.31 $ 6,104.90
Annualized Avg. $ 923.69 $ 508.74
Amount Available in RLF
ETRAP $ 274,676.00
NETEDD $ 549,486.00
CHAPMAN $ 380,781.94
ATRDC Total Loans in
Portfolio Total Loan Amount Balance on Books
20 $ 9,059,000.00 $ 6,767,737.83
ATRDC 504 Loan Program Income From Fees Payout as of 11/30/2018: $3,143.69
Jurisdiction Project Name Amount Awarded Expended
Start Date End Date Status
Ark-Tex Council of
ATCOG Planning, Training
and Exercises $ 94,425.74 $ 94,425.74 9/1/2017 8/31/2018 Closed
Hopkins County Hopkins County Dispatch
Console Project $ 6,233.65 $ – 11/1/2017 10/31/2018 active
Titus County and City of
(Adminstered by Titus
Titus County Portable
Radio Project $ 10,857.19 $ 10,857.19 11/1/2017 10/31/2018 Closed
Cass County and City of
(Administered by Cass
Cass County Mobile and
Portable Radio Project $ 9,338.50 $ 9,338.50 11/1/2017 10/31/2018 Closed
Delta County Delta County EOC
Communications Project $ 2,500.00 $2,500.00 11/1/2017 10/31/2018 Closed
Red River County and City
(Administered by Red
Red River Repeater
Upgrades Project $ 5,470.26 $5,470.26 11/1/2017 10/31/2018 Closed
City of Sulphur Springs
City of Sulphur Springs
$ 14,268.43 $ 14,268.43 11/1/2017 10/31/2018 Closed
Morris County and City of
(Administered by Morris
Morris County Mobile
Radio Project $ 4,163.20 $ 4,163.00 11/1/2017 10/31/2018 closed
Lamar County, City of Paris
& City of Reno
(Administered by Lamar
Lamar County Multijurisdiction
$ 11,300.37 $ 11,050.37 11/1/2017 10/31/2018 active
Bowie County HAZMAT
$ 9,304.05 $ 9,304.05 11/1/2017 10/31/2018 Closed
City of Texarkana City of Texarkana Ballistic
Vest Project $ 12,376.57 $ 12,376.57 11/1/2017 10/31/2018 closed
$ 9,393.49 $ 9,393.49 11/1/2017 10/31/2018 Closed
Lamar County, City of Paris
& City of Reno
(Administered by Lamar
Regional Dive Team
(Lamar County, Reno,
and Paris) Project
$ 3,534.21 $ 3,033.35 11/1/2017 10/31/2018 closed
City of Nash City of Nash Special
Response Team Project $ 4,167.37 $ 4,167.37 11/1/2017 10/31/2018 Closed
City of Texarkana
City of Texarkana Underdoor
$ 12,170.00 $ 12,170.00 11/1/2017 10/31/2018 Closed
Total $ 209,503.03 $ 202,518.32
ARK-TEX COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS
HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISORY
August 16, 2018
The meeting of the Ark-Tex Council of Governments Homeland Security Advisory
Committee was called to order by Randy Tuttle, Vice Chairperson, at 10:02 a.m.,
August 16, 2018, at Titus Regional Medical Center Medical Plaza Wellness Center
Conference Room in Mt. Pleasant, TX.
The minutes from Ark-Tex Council of Governments Homeland Security Advisory
Committee meeting held on May 24, 2018 were reviewed for approval. Motion to approve
was made by Jason Ricketson and seconded by Andy Endsly. Motion passed by
Whitney Fezell updated the committee concerning Homeland Security updates. Whitney
Fezell informed the committee of the FY18 grants have been released and will require
activation within 45days of release date. The committee was also informed of the
assessments in egrants.
Next non-voting item is to discuss and review risk-methodology data. Whitney Fezell
informed the committee that she will be going over data individually via phone call or in
person. The committee was also informed to check for additional CIKR that their county
or municipal may have.
Next non-voting item is discuss LETPA options for FY19. Whitney Fezell informed the
committee of the eligible LETPA projects and discussed with them the option for a
regional project. Whitney Fezell ask for other suggestions from the committee regarding
regional projects, and ways to approach the LETPA requirement.
The first voting item on the agenda was to discuss and approve a strategy for meeting
the FY2019 LETPA requirement. Jason Ricketson made a motion for ATCOG to submit
the training and exercise project as a back-up LETPA project. Motion seconded by Danny
Richard and approved by majority.
The next voting item was to discuss and approve options for alternate funding years.
Options presented to the committee included: alternating funding years between city and
counties, alternating funding years between highest/lowest risk-data scores, and option
to make no changes to the funding years. Tanner Crump made a motion to not alternate
funding years, motion seconded by Danny Richards and approved by majority.
The next voting item was to discuss and approve HSAC attendance requirements.
Whitney Fezell informed the committee of the previous discussion regarding attendance
and grant funding. The committee was presented with the option to decrease grant
funding for participant who are missing HSAC meeting. The committee also discuss using
a proxy member to meet these attendance requirements. Jason Rickertson made a
motion to leave the attendance requirement as is, not to tie it to funding or allow a proxy
member. Motion seconded by Tanner Crump and approved by majority.
The next voting item was to discuss and approve HSAC calendar meeting schedule for
FY2019. Whitney Fezell presented the committee with the following meeting dates:
March 14th, May 23rd, August 22nd, and November 14th of 2019. Jason Ricketson made
a motion to accept the HSAC meeting dates, motion seconded by Elena Crawford.
The Next voting item was to discuss and approve the THIRA/SPR/IP documents.
Whitney Fezell informed the committee of the changes made to the THIRA as well as
how the SPR and IP was developed. Elena Crawford made a motion to accept and
approved the THIRA/SPR/IP documents, motion was seconded by John Nichols and
approved by majority.
The Next voting item was to discuss and approve the cancellation of January COG
Repeater Test. Whitney Fezell informed the committee of the date of the repeater test
and advised them that many personnel may be out for the holidays. John Nichols made
the motion to cancel the January repeater test, motion seconded by Larry McRae and
approved by majority.
Randy Tuttle opened the floor for questions and discussion.
Randy Tuttle announced that the next scheduled meeting will be March 14, 2019 at 10am
Randy Tuttle announced that the next COG repeater test will be Tuesday December 1st
Randy Tuttle announced that FY2019 RFA is to be released by the OOG on December
. Whitney Fezell also informed the committee of the Nonprofit RFA that will be
released as well.
John Nichols made a motion to adjourn the meeting, motion was seconded by Larry
Betts, and approved by a majority vote.
Tanner Crutcher – EMC, Delta County
Tanner Crump- Hopkins County Sherriff’s Office
Larry McRae – EMC, Titus County
Randy Tuttle – EMC, City of Paris
Whitney Fezell – ATCOG Homeland Security Coordinator
Danny Richard – VFD, City of Daingerfield
Jason Ricketson – EMC, City of Sulphur Springs
Andy Endsley- EMC Hopkins County
John Nichols- EMC Bowie County
Elena Crawford- Red River County EMC
Nathan Carroll- Texas Forest Service
____________________ __________________ _______________
Signature Title Date