County Engineer Clark Slacum proposed Orange County implementing a disposal fee at the citizen’s collection site located on Farm Road 1442.

“The collection site has been a great service the county provides for residents and employees of the county,” He said. “I hope we can continue to provide that service. I don’t believe it was ever intended to be a means for commercial operations to dispose of their waste and we are seeing a lot of that now.”  Slacum said they are seeing the same people coming with trailers full of items such as carpet, padding and mattresses almost every day the site is open. “I don’t know where it’s coming from, but it makes me think it is a remodeler or hotel or somebody renovating their stuff. It doesn’t appear to be from a single house; more commercial type stuff.” He said their current policy only verifies that the driver of the vehicle is an Orange County resident. They copy their name and license number and have them sign the log. He said the number of people using the site has increased greatly in the last couple of months. In the past, usage would average between 600-1,000 patrons. This month could top 2,000. Last month was 2,200.

The sudden increase is larger than the collection site budget can handle. Without putting a reasonable fee in place the budget will run out of money in the last month of the fiscal year.

Slacum provided commissioners with a registration form used by Chambers County solid waste department for a sticker that would go on a vehicle’s windshield verifying they are an Orange County resident. He suggested a $5 fee for the sticker and fees ranging from $1-$25 for the garbage and refuse depending on the amount or vehicle size. The possibility of using prepaid punch cards to pay for services is being looked at so no cash will be needed at the facility.

It was decided that citizens only recycling items at the collection station can register for a green sticker to prove residency at no cost and no charge for dropping off recyclable items.

It was voted to develop a program and implement it by June 1, 2013. Full details of the program will be released through the media when finalized.

Commissioners also finalized county holidays for 2014 to satisfy requests from the District courts and County Court at law judges so they can set their court docket for next year. Dates approved are New Year’s Day-Jan.1; MLK Day-Jan.20; Texas Independence Day-March3; Good Friday-April 18; Memorial Day-May 26; Independence Day-July4; Labor Day-Sept.1; Veterans’ Day-Nov.11; Thanksgiving-Nov.27 & 28; and Christmas-Dec.24-26.

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.