Emergency Management Director Jeff Kelley updated commissioners on the situation with the state changes to the Transportation Assistance Registry. The state is converting to the new State of Texas Systems Registry, which is not compatible with the county’s system.

Kelley said we do not have access to the system and we have no visibility to the data.

“I’ll tell you what I know at this point. We will have to go into this hurricane season managing two systems. There is no doubt about it, they will not be compatible.”

He said training for the new system was posted, but when they went to register for the training Monday, the posting had been removed. “So something’s up with that training.”

“If we have to go into the season having to manage two systems and we have to perform an evacuation, we use anywhere from four to eight folks from other county departments to come in and help us run that phone bank, that’s going to double having to run two essential but separate systems to make sure we get everybody. We’re going to have to manually cross check that system against our system to make sure that no one is missed, name by name,” said Kelley.

According to Kelley, it was the chief of Division of Emergency Management that decided to go with the new system. He said they met with all the jurisdictions last February and sought input on what they intended to do.

“We pointed out what we didn’t like and what the problems we saw were and when they rolled the new system out, no changes had been made, it was exactly as it was presented when they came around in February.”

Kelley did assure commissioners they were as ready as possible, but if an evacuation situation comes up this year, it is going to take double the manpower to make sure no one is left behind.

“We’ll continue to work on it and update you,” said Kelley.

“Always wanting to mess with things that work,” commented Thibodeaux. “It’s amazing.”

In other business, commissioners appointed Franklin Walters, Connie Cassidy, Mark Wimberly, Doug Manning and John Banken to the Consultant Selection Committee for the 80×80 box hanger project at the Orange County Airport. The project is funded by Non-Primary Entitlement Funds from TxDOT Aviation.

Commissioners approved the purchase of a Ford F-150 at $15,260 with trade-in of a 2003 Ford F-150 through Philpott Ford. The local bid was more than $3,000 above the lowest bid. The truck is for use by the Mosquito Control Department and is an approved capital outlay expense.

Connie Cassidy stated all items should be listed and ready for an online auction within about one week.

Judge Carl Thibodeaux will be attending a meeting in Galveston Wednesday of the Gulf Coast Community Protection and Recovery District, Inc. and Corps of Engineers.

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.