The owner of a junkyard on Hwy. 105 near Vidor is being fined $100 a day for not complying with regulations. However, if Mike Judy can conform to the regulations within 45 days, he will not have to pay the fine, Orange County Commissioners Court decided Monday.

Neighbors Woody and Debbie Dugas, however, said Judy had been supposedly trying to get the junkyard in shape since November.

Judy said he has put up part of a fence to hide the junkyard and asked for more time. He said the business grew quicker than he imagined and he is now looking for another site.

“I’ll probably admit we have the worst looking place in North Vidor,” he told Commissioners Court.

Commissioners Court last month gave Judy some time to make the site comply with the regulations. County Engineer Les Anderson said Judy had been doing work on the yard.

County Judge Carl Thibodeaux said he hates to impose a fine if a business is working to comply with regulations.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Beamon Minton, who represents the Vidor area, said the court doesn’t intend “to put (Judy) out of business.”

Woody Dugas commented that “if he puts a fence up, he can’t put it up high enough. He’d have one 50 feet high.”

His wife said the junkyard has become a traffic hazard and she almost hit a man who had parked an 18-wheel truck rig on the side of the highway and got out.

Assistant County Attorney Doug Manningsaid Commissioners Court could begin assessing the fines immediately, but not make Judy pay if he makes complies in a certain period of time. The court agreed to the $100 a day fine and to give Judy 45 days for the junkyard.

Manning said the county needs to have Judy sign a letter agreeing to the terms.
If Judy doesn’t meet the regulations after 45 days, he will continue to be fined. Manning said the county could take him to state district court to get an injunction. Ultimately, through the state court, the county could close down the junkyard and put a lien on the property to collect the fine.

In other business, Commissioners Court amended the county’s drug and alcohol policy for the Transportation Department, which handles the buses for senior citizens and the handicapped. The change was made by the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission, which oversees the bus program.

Under the amended rule, personnel will be subjected to urine drug testing, but not the alcohol breathalyzer test.

In the monthly department reports, Mark Wimberley, director of maintenance, said the new maintenance and storage building is basically complete and his department will begin moving into it.

Veterans service officer Jerry Childress said his department is making more home visits, 25 in February, compared to 17 in January, because of the health of World War II veterans. He said those veterans are becoming bedridden or under hospice care.