Orange County Judge Carl Thibodeaux reported late Tuesday as “very positive” the first meeting of the Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District.
Orange County joins with Jefferson, Galveston, Harris, Brazoria and Chambers counties in the district dedicated to levee/storm surge protection strategies and how to fund them.

Elected as chairman of the corporation was Galveston County Judge Jim Yarbrough, and as vice chairman, incoming Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick.

Former Harris County Judge Robert Eckels was elected president of the corporate offices. The Winstead law firm of Houston was appointed to provide legal advice. Present Harris County Judge Ed Emmett was named the corporation’s secretary/treasurer.

“I’ve worked with some of these guys for years,” said Thibodeaux. “It was a very positive meeting, and I feel like if something needs to get done, it’s going to get done. This group will help protect the citizens and economic interests of our county.”

Representatives voted to send out proposals to attract a banking firm to manage finances; and an engineering firm that would oversee the levee project, Thibodeaux said.

The next meeting is set for June 1 at the Galveston County Courthouse.

Meetings are open to the public.