News Release
March 12, 2009
Contact: Alicia Pierce
(512) 463-0103
Nichols and Otto file bills to help build a higher education center in Polk County

Austin — This week, state Sen. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) and Rep. John Otto (R-Dayton) filed bills which will help establish a higher education center in Livingston.

"The Polk County Angelina College center in Livingston will mean increased opportunities for residents in Polk County," said Nichols. "I am proud Rep. Otto and I can help make this project a reality."

Otto also commented on the benefit the center will bring to the area.

"The new center is good news for Livingston and Polk County," said Otto. "Sen. Nichols and I are committed to doing what we can to promote higher education in the region."

Senate Bill 1670 and House Bill 2979, which are identical bills, allow the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to sell a piece land in Livingston for the amount it was first purchased for in the 1970s. The land, which TXDOT does not plan to use, will be the site for the Polk County Angelina College center.

Texas law usually requires TxDOT to sell land at current, fair market prices, but this legislation will allow the agency to sell the land in Livingston for the original purchase price. This will dramatically lower the cost to acquire a building site.

"It's a win-win," said Otto. "TxDOT can sell excess land and Polk County gets a good price for the site of a new higher education center."

Polk County Judge John Thompson expressed gratitude for the legislation.

"I appreciate Sen. Nichols and Rep. Otto for helping us bring this center to fruition," said Thompson. "This is a tremendous opportunity for Polk County."

Dr. Larry Phillips, President of Angelina College, stressed the significance of the bills.

"This legislation is important for the future of growth of Polk County and will enable a higher education center convenient to everyone," said Phillips.

Nichols praised the hard work of the Angelina College President and the Polk County Judge.

"I appreciate Judge John Thompson and Dr. Phillips bringing this issue to our attention," said Nichols. "It's a great example of how area leaders can help us serve the people of Polk County."