The bench will soon move in Orange County Commissioners’ Court, but not far. 

The platform, which now sits on the north wall of the courtroom, will be replaced with a new bench along the east wall, said operations and maintenance Supervisor Mark Wimberley. 

Chairs for observers will move near the west wall and a small annexing wall will be knocked down, he said.

“This won’t cost a bunch of money as far as material goes,” Wimberley told commissioners in regular session Monday. “But it will cost us some labor, no doubt … this just opens things completely up.”

The redesign will allow 11 or 12 more chairs for audience members, he said. Jokingly, Judge Pro-tem John Dubose said, “We may not want that many more people attending.” There were other jokes about Wimberley providing bullet-proof vests for commissioners.

“We’ll do this (construction) during the week when court is not in session,” Wimberley said. “I don’t forsee ya’ll not being able to have court for any reason.”

Also Monday, commissioners approved bids to demolish some 45 homes as part of a disaster recovery project. Bids went to Inland Environment for $107,025, M. Gould Construction for $47,450 and Coastal Demolition for $16,850.

In other business:

• Mosquito control Director Patrick Beebe said recent efforts to hire qualified pilots for the county’s aerial spray plane have not been successful. Pilots who expressed interest in the job could not commit to all the duties and timelines required by the contracted position, Beebe said.

• Commissioners approved moving a Waldon sweeper already owned by the county to the airport to help keep the tarmack clean.
Dubose presided Monday so Judge Carl Thibodeaux could tend to a family matter.