On Monday, the Orange County Commissioners and County Judge Carl

Thibodeaux presented a Distinguished Service Award to the Orange County Historical Commission in

recognition of its active and well balanced preservation program.

“This award was granted by the Texas Historical Commission in Austin and they asked the Commissioners’ Court to officially present it to the local Historical Commission on behalf of the state,” Thibodeaux said.

Mrs. Betty Harmon and Mr. Jerry Pennington, members of the Orange County Historical Commissioner accepted the award on behalf of Dr. Howard C. Williams, MD, chairman and founder of the Orange County Historical Commission. The OC Historical Commission currently has twelve members.

Emergency Management Coordinator, Jeff Kelley, brought the Commissioners up to speed on what is happening with the Adult Probation site.

“It all boils down to the fact that a single environmental company was doing several sites in and around Orange at one time,” Kelley said. “They turned it in to the [Texas Commission of Environmental Quality] at the same time, in the same folder. Some of the sites were mixed up. Our site was misidentified as an underground storage tank facility.”

Kelley went on to explain that the testing was accurate but there were a lot of mistakes.

“We’ve gone back and went through every bit of that,” Kelley said. “We are having to conduct a drinking water survey and it is underway at this time. We do have to do some additional testing but I [received] an e-mail stating that we don’t have to do a monitoring well, as least for now.”

The county is looking at spending around $2,800 for the additional testing and at will result in a game plan for the Maintenance Department and the contractors as to what they have to do with dirt.

“Some of it’s going to have to go to a class A landfill and some will not,” Kelley said.

The dirt will have to be tested and that test is scheduled for sometime next week.

Kelley also asked the Court to extend the the deadline for the buyout program, which is July 31, 2011.

“There are still four homeowners that have not been able to close, mainly due to legal battles with their insurance companies,” Kelley said. “They still want to be part of the program, but they haven’t been able to make it that point yet. If we’re to try to accommodate them further, we have throughout the whole process, we ask for a one-year extension.”

Kelley doesn’t anticipate take a year to clean it up, but it would give the four homeowners a little more time. The extension, however, doesn’t allow the county to take new applications.

The Court rewarded the the bid for the Road Improvement Project No. DRS010214 to APAC.

The Commissioners approved the extension of a contract between Orange County and AshBritt Environmental for the provision of Disaster Recovery.

The contract is virtually the same except the new contract will have all of the addendum’s that were signed due to Hurricane Ike.

The court approved the adoption of a Special Budget in accordance with the provisions of Local Government Code § 111.0106 through the Secretary of State Elections Division for computer equipment for Voter Registration and TEAM.

Total amount for bills paid this week is $1,171,772.91, which includes $21,652.83 to U.T.M.B, from the general fund, for the contract payment due April 15; and $802,052.90 to AshBritt Environmental from the general fund for restoration, generators and debris.

About Nicole Gibbs

Editor of The Record Newspapers