The Orange

County Commissioners have decided to lift the burn ban that has been in

effect for the last few months. Jeff Kelley, director of Emergency Management,

said “I think the opportunity [to lift the burn ban] is here. I don’t think it

will last too long.”

While the

Commissioners lifted the burn ban, they will continue to look at the wildfire

conditions in Orange County each week.

The County

Commissioners authorized a change order to the existing work being performed by

F&W Electrical on the fiscal year 2010 RAMP Grant. The order will include

the purchase and replacement of eight runway lights, five taxiway lights and

one taxiway crossover sign.

“The Taxiway

Lighting Project is going on out [at the airport],” Kelley said. “It’s a

$110,000 project that’s going to come in under budget [by] at least a minimum

of $15,000. While [F&W Electrial] was out there, we asked them to give a

quote on all the other damage that’s out there. That estimate came in at


The County

will still come in $5,000 under budget and get all of the repairs done at the

Orange County Airport.

The Court

approved the purchase of insurance coverage on the Swing Bridge located on East

Roundbunch. The total cost for coverage is $27,977 for July 1, 2011 through

July 1, 2012.

“Whenever we

receive project worksheet funds from FEMA on permanent work, on a structure, we

agree that we’ll carry insurance on that as long as we keep that building,”

Kelley said. “Nowhere in FEMA policy does it say that the policy applies to a

bridge, but nowhere in that policy does it say that it does not.

“We can’t

just go out there and build another bridge because the approaches, the property

issues and the wetland issues,” he said. “It would have to be, it were severely

damaged or destroyed, be replaced with [another swing bridge]. Since you can’t

find that, it’s estimated that it would have to be site built and would run

somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 million dollars.”

The County

based the insurance policy around the worst case scenario ($4 million). While a

less expensive premium would be more favorable, coverage on this bridge is

essential. All county assets are insured and the Commissioners felt there was

no reason why the bridge shouldn’t be.


Commissioners approved the change order for the road improvement projects to

place a double coat chip seal on the Pine Bluff Road in Orange.

“All that

was required to be put on Pine Bluff was a six inch build up of limestone that

washed away during the hurricane,” said Les Anderson, County Engineer. “That’s

been done, but that creates a dust concern when it’s dry and when it’s wet, it’s


Pct. 1

Commissioner David Dubose has received a few calls regarding the conditions of

Pine Bluff and the limestone build up. There are funds available, so this would

come at no cost to the county.


residents live on Pine Bluff. The double coat chip seal would not only provide

more safety when driving on the road, but it would also extend the life of the


Bills to be

paid for this week total $413,347.99 including: $50,093.79

to G&G Enterprises from the general fund for Shelter of Last Resort; $6,629.20

to Schaumburg & Polk from the general fund for Shelter of Last Resort; $1,150

to Memorial Funeral Home from the general fund for indigent funeral expenses; $1,150

to Claybar Funeral Home from the general fund for indigent funeral expenses; $49.14

to Regina Chargois from the general fund for travel for June, 2011; $69,696.90

to Cleveland Construction, Inc., from the general fund for Justice of the Peace

Three facility; and $99,271.02 to McInnis Construction, Inc., from the general

fund for Adult Probation facility.

The Court also filed into the minutes

a direct deposit from the State Comptroller of Public Accounts in the amount of

$273, 090.05. These funds represent the ½ cent Sales and Allocation for the

month of May, 2011 and has been credited to the General Operating Fund.

Chris Pruitt of Pattillo, Brown and

Hill presented the annual financial report for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30,

2010 to the Commissioners’ Court. He explained that the financial status of the

county is really good especially in today’s financial environment.

“The interesting thing is on this is

that the total long-term debt that Orange County’s got is $746,000,” County

Judge Carl Thibodeaux said. “Not many counties around here can say that’s all

they owe.”

The Court approved the appointing of

Dr. Shannon M. Messer to the Sabine Neches Housing Finance Corporation for a

two year term ending June, 2013.

About Nicole Gibbs

Editor of The Record Newspapers