County commissioners called for price quotes in regular session Monday on two portable satellite terminals for the management information department.

The approved capital outlay expenditures would be useful in emergencies, Precinct 3 Commissioner John Dubose said.

“The terminals are set up in the emergency management department by the telephone office,” he said. “By having them, that will leave us with some live lines open in the event of a disaster … it would leave us connected with the outside world.” The terminals could be used at the courthouse, or the temporary command post in Mauriceville for when high waters threaten Orange.

In other business, County Judge Carl Thibodeaux got approval to send a letter to the Coast Guard regarding the railroad swing bridge at Echo. As previously reported in The Record Newspapers, the Coast Guard seeks input from residents about closing the swing
device on the bridge, based on a request for Union Pacific Railroad.

According to the Coast Guard, no requests have been made my boaters to open the bridge since Hurricane Rita.

However, commissioners were keeping future disasters in mind. “If we had another hurricane and had to take a barge or any other kind of equipment, we would need access [for water traffic],” Dubose said.

Also Monday, commissioners approved its annual contract with the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission for the county transporation department. “This allows federal funds to flow through Orange County to help run the transit system,” Dubose said. “It’s about $350,000. It costs much more to run the department, but that’s all the federal system will pay for.”

During public comments, P.R. Shepherd of Vidor brought notice of two abandoned properties on Duncan’s Wood Lane that were possible health hazards. Commissioners said they would send health department authorities to study the locations and report their findings.