By David Ball
For The Record

It seems the Orange County Commissioners’ Court was ahead of the curve in proclaiming May 27 through June 2 as hurricane awareness week in Orange County.

Jeff Kelley, emergency management coordinator, said there has already been a named storm this season of the coast of the Carolinas. In fact, the emergency management staff will be participating in a hurricane preparation drill on June 7. They have already attended the Hurrex 2012 workshop in Beaumont in preparation for the drill.

Kelley added predictions from the National Hurricane Center potentially looks like it will be another East Coast hurricane season as it was last year.

He also reported the FAA has approved a new flag pole and sign for the Orange County Airport entrance.

Precinct 1 Commissioner David Dubose asked Kelley about reports he heard of drone flights being approved to fly from the Orange County Airport. Kelley said the only matter he knows of was a request by Equisearch to find a missing person in Precinct 4 using a drone. He described it a a remote control airplane with a camera attached to it.
Kelley also reported on the status of the 2009 Port Security Grant Orange County applied for in 2011. If awarded, the Shelter of Last Resort on FM 1442 will receive $500,000 in a 75 percent/25 percent matching grant for electronics, technology, Internet and telephones.

The county’s portion of the match would be made through donations.
In other county business, two bids were declined and one approved for vacant trust properties in the county.

One is the old Lakeview Eatery on FM 1130 that’s valued at $150,000 on the tax roles. Precinct 4 Commissioner Jody Crumnp the building was completed in the mid-2000s and is in exceptional shape.

The bid was rejected.

The other property is a 2.34 acre vacant lot off of FM 1130. Precinct 2 Commissioner Owen Burton said the tract is oddly shaped with a drainage ditch running through the property.

The bid was rejected.

The final bid for a .606 acres vacant lot off of FM 1131 was accepted.

Crump reported the Orange County Jail had a surprise inspection and passed with flying colors.