Mosquito Control Director Patrick Beebe informed the Orange County Commissioners’ Court Tuesday of an upcoming deadline concerning new permit requirements. The changes are newly adopted requirements by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

“It applies to all biological or chemical applications that meet certain use patterns that are made either over or near U.S. waters,” said Beebe. The permit is required if you are treating areas in excess of 6,400 acres. Type of materials used is another area Orange County falls under. “Some of the materials we use are general use pesticides, some of them are state limited use and some of them are restricted use. We use a combination of all the above,” he said.

“There are a lot of requirements with the permit,” said Beebe. It will include mapping coverage areas, material inventory, a pesticide discharge management plan, calibration procedures, inspection guidance forms, adverse incident reporting guidance forms, site specific training, and records have to be prepared for an annual audit.

“That’s just a few of the things, we don’t have enough time to cover everything that’s in this permit and I’m not going try and do that. I’m just trying to give you an idea of what all we will be looking at this year. Not only Mosquito Control, but any entity that falls under Orange County.” He said it could included Road and Bridge and the Parks Department, or any department that uses herbicides.

Beebe said other entities are looking into forming coalitions to help manage permits and implement all the requirements and the record keeping. Caroll and Blackman Inc. is aware of all the permitting process, has talked with several groups and offered to help implement and maintain the permits through the five year process.

The first deadline is Feb. 2 to submit a notice of intent to permit. That would allow 90 days to formulate a pesticide discharge management plan.

“If we don’t get the permit, we don’t perform our services,” said Beebe reminding commissioners that mosquito season will soon be here.

In other business, bills were paid totaling $514,158 including $164,894.92 to G&G Enterprises for the Shelter of Last Resort; $1,150 to Claybar Funeral Home for indigent funeral expenses; $120,049.26 for McInnis Construction, Inc., for Adult Probation facility; $276.30 to Cleveland Construction, Inc., for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3 facility.

The court gave Tina Barrow, elections administrator permission to replace some bags purchased for election workers.

“We have some HAVA funds left over,” said Barrow. “We had purchased some rolling bags awhile back so judges could put their ballots and all that stuff in. It makes it easier for them to bring to locations,” said Barrow. She said the wheels on some of the bags had broken, so the bags needed to be replaced.

Donna Scales of the Parks Department was given approval to replace a part-time employee that would work weekends and holidays.

Commissioners voted to renew the annual contract of $4,500 with Real Vision for the imaging software two-thirds of the departments use to scan their documents.

Bobby Manshack and Jason Gengo were reappointed for a two year term with the Emergency Services District 3. Joe Parkhurst, David Teague and Wayne Lacombe will complete their unexpired one year terms.

A bid of $1.30 a gallon for county waste oil was accepted. That also includes the disposal of oil filters.

In a workshop held Tuesday morning concerning the 299 Loop project for Vidor, a financial proposal was presented by Raymond James and Associates.

“It lasted over an hour,” said Orange County Judge Carl Thibodeaux. “Basically they presented some worst scenario financing plans to where it basically boils down to where the county’s got an obligation to sell certificates of obligation or create a debt service program to pay the total amount of money which could be as much as $40 million. Twenty-eight million is paid for by TxDOT, but then you’ve got interest on the $28 million TxDOT won’t pay back for. It may take 10-15 years to pay that back. You’re looking at about a $20 million debt service from the county, which is a substantial amount of money,” said Thibodeaux. He said that was the worse case scenario, if we went ahead and borrowed the money and built the road. “We told them to come back with a better plan than that.”

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.