Salvage yard saga continues

Orange County Commissioners gave the go ahead this week for a new transportation department building. 

Precinct 3 Commissioner John Dubose said the proposed facility is more practical than the two separate equipment depots the county now has in Vidor and Orange.

“This will be a central location for all the vehicles, instead of housing them in two different locations,” he said. 

The project will cost about $1,475,600, but the county will pay only about $297,000 because of an available federal grant, he said. 

G and G Construction of Beaumont was approved as contractor, and Dubose said construction should be complete around September. 

The structure will be on Farm Road 1442, next to the building that includes the county’s veterans administration and health code compliance offices.

Also at the meeting, Bobby Vincent of Vidor spoke to commissioners about his mechanic’s shop at 2505 N. Main St. 

Commissioners are pursuing litigation regarding a letter sent Vincent in August alleging violations such as inadequate fencing and failure to apply for a license. 

Commissioners said he would get his “day in court” and acknowledged he had made some headway regarding an in-progress fence; and cars extending to other properties
Vincent thanked them, adding that Gustav and Ike took their toll and he felt he was being “singled out.” 

“The first storm pretty well beat down my shop and my house, then Ike tore half the fence down,” he said. “So I haven’t had a place to stay … I didn’t get placed into a home until after Christmas.

Anywhere in Orange County you can find cars, old buses, Winnebagos, trash and debris – but [that’s] OK. Everyone else has had exceptions for Ike, but I’m the only one building this fence for ya’ll.”

County Judge Carl Thibodeaux said that, after the trial, “If we were wrong, we’ll say we were wrong … but right now debating anyone on the court will not benefit anyone.”

“It says here I could be fined $500 a day,” Vincent said, referring to some documents. “Well if I had $500 a day, someone else would be putting up that fence for me.”

In other business, Emergency Management Coordinator Jeff Kelly said he had been selected to serve on a national committee that would act as a sounding board in the wake of recent disasters. 

The purpose of the panel, he said, is to advise the incoming presidential administration on perspectives, roles and future goals for organizations such as the Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA.

Only five persons from Texas were selected. 

“As much as I’ve said about FEMA [in the past], I’m surprised at this,” he joked.

The next commissioners’ court is set for a holiday (Jan. 19) and has been reset to 10 a.m. Jan. 20.