On Monday, March 28, Pct. 2 Orange County Commissioner Owen Burton brought up a question at Commissioners’ Court on the redistricting of Orange County and when they can expect those changes to be made. County Judge Carl Thibodeaux explained that the firm hired by Orange County is in the process of redrawing the precinct lines.

“They have to balance it by the amount of registered voters in each precinct,” Thibodeaux said.

Once the new precinct lines are drawn, they will be presented to Commissioners’ Court for approval. From there, they will be sent to the Justice Department in Washington. Once they are approved, the new voting precinct lines are put into effect by the Court.

“For the 2000 census, everything was presented to the Court, approved by the Justice Department and adopted somewhere around October,” Thibodeaux said.

He went on to explain that all of this has to be done this year because there will be Orange County Elections next year.

The Commissioners authorized the donation of $1,000.00 to the Lower Sabine-Neches Soil & Water Conservation District #446 out of Community Participation Funds.

“This is an annual request from them,” Thibodeaux said. “They hold contests and educational [programs] for the youth of Orange County. It is a very good organization that services the youth of Orange County.”

The Commissioners accepted the 2010 Tobacco Settlement Distribution Statement, for submittal to the Texas Department of Health and authorized the County Judge to sign the same.

This disbursement helps cover the cost of indigent funds such as funding for the UTMB clinic, jail nurse, social services.

“The tobacco industry had a major lawsuit in the state of Texas,” Thibodeaux said. “The money went to the state and the state distributed it out.”

Orange County received roughly $1 million for the first distribution. The disbarments have slowly gotten smaller over time.

“The rest of the fund was set up in an interested drawing account; a trust fund,” Thibodeaux said. “Every year, the counties that apply for the Tobacco Settlement Distribution [can apply for any interest that the trust fund makes].”

There was no report from the Emergency Management office. Jeff Kelley was in Austin due to a very important meeting with the company that has taken over the Texas Department of Rural Affairs since it no longer exists. 

“They were the lead agency handling our Ike Recovery Funds,” Thibodeaux said. “An engineering firm in Austin has taken it over.”

Kelley was in Austin to gather information and report back to the Court on what they can expect and what’s going to occur.

Thibodeaux said that the committed funds from the TDRA should be okay.

The total amount for bills this week is $245,831.94 including: $95,904.25. to O.C.A.D., from general fund for 2nd quarter funding due April 1, 2011; and $4,122.88 to United States Treasury from general fund for 2007 tax penalty.

The Court gave Connie Cassidy, Orange County Purchasing Agent, approval for the transfer of the following items from the Pct. 4 Constable’s office to Surplus: a video system, a fax, an MTS Radio and a lightbar.

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