Orange County will continue to be under a burn ban, commissioners decided in a special court session Tuesday.

According to Jeff Kelley, emergency management coordinator, Orange County is under extreme dry conditions, a condition that has spread across the state.

“This past Wednesday (June 29), 236 Texas counties were under burn bans,” Kelley said.
John Dubose, precinct three commissioner, asked Kelley how long the current ban is in effect.

Kelley said that there is no cut-off date.

“Currently, the burn ban is open-ended,” Kelley said.

Dubose said that despite area publications and news organizations informing the public of the ban, he still receives many calls to inquire if the ban is still on. Kelley said that he has done some research into the price it would cost the county to get signs to place around the county that would inform people of the ban.

Signs that would be approved by the Texas Department of Transportation would cost the county $1,781. For that price, they would be able to get 14 24-foot by 20-foot signs and 14 30-foot by 36-foot signs that can be placed on existing poles owned by the transportation department. The cost would also cover 100 election-style signs on wire that could be placed along roadways.

County Judge Carl Thibodeaux said that it would be important for the county to go ahead and get the signs now. The commissioners voted to go ahead and acquire the signs with money from the general miscellaneous fund.

“We need them now, not in October when the ban could very well be over,” he said.

Kelley said that the signs would say that a burn ban is in effect and that they would be red in color.

“Do they glow in the dark?” Thibodeaux asked, garnering chuckles from those in attendance. “I actually had someone call me and ask if they could burn at night.”

In other business, the court rejected all bids on biannual waste collection so that they could rebid the projects for collection and recycling.

They also voted to waive county permit fees for the final ten properties receiving the sewer upgrade.

Joel Ardoin, health and code compliance director, said that state permit-fees would still apply.