Regina Rogers and members of the Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” program stopped by commissioners court Tuesday to inform commissioners of the free prostate cancer screenings  9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday at Lamar Institute of Technology located at 8102 E. Lavaca in Beaumont.  The screening is free to those  who have limited income, are medically under insured or uninsured; at least 45 years of age (40 if African American or younger with family history of prostate cancer); and have not had prostate cancer. Call 409-861-5940 for an appointment.

Commissioners proclaimed September as 2013 Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Emergency Management Update

Jeff Kelley, director of Emergency Management told commissioners they were largely operational in the new facility on FM1442. “We’re wrapping up loose ends and chasing bugs down. Waiting on a little bit of equipment to get there.” There was a problem with cell phones working in the building, but Kelley said Verizon delivered a device that they are testing in the building today to see if that cures the cell phone issues.

On a similar issue, Kelley said, “We had some homeland security funding dedicated for a 800 megahertz repeater because there was an issue just like the cell phones. They’re out there installing that today,” he said.

He also informed commissioners the his deputy, Ralph Valenciano has turned in his resignation and is leaving Sept. 16.

“Although I wish him the best in the world, the timing is really bad and I’d like to get him replaced just as quick as I can.”

“I don’t think this is a department we need to be cutting, just because we haven’t had a hurricane in the last two or three years,” said Precinct 1 Commissioner David Dubose.

Commissioner Precinct 2 Owen Burton asked Kelley if he thought it was something he could do without for a little while.

Kelley said he would not be able to maintain the same level of service without replacing him. Payroll is one of the areas the government matches up to 50 percent in Emergency Management, so Kelley said Valenciano’s salary is almost completely offset.

Motion to authorize replacement passed with only Burton voting no.

Texas 1033 Surplus Property Program

Commissioners authorized Judge Carl Thibodeaux and Sheriff Keith Merritt to sign the application for participation in the Texas 1033 Surplus Property Program that is administered through the Texas Department of Public Safety. The program is renewable each year.

“This will be the fourth year we have been in it,” said Sheriff Keith Merritt. “It has changed dramatically over the years. It’s more difficult to get in to that program, much less stay in it.”

Currently the sheriff’s department has two “deuce and a half” trucks, a trailer, a 400 gallon tank that can be used to hold fuel and a motorcycle considered surplus by the military.

“When you do retrieve some type of property from them, the bookkeeping and the accountability through the years stays with you as long as you have that piece of property,” said Merritt.

The property is from the Department of Defense (DOD) through the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Offices (DRMO).

Regular court sessions determined

It was voted to designate the second Monday of each month as the regular commissioners’ court sessions as required by Local Government Code §81.005(a).

Regina Rogers and members of the Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” program accept a proclamation from commissioners court proclaiming September as “Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.” RECORD PHOTO: Penny LeLeux

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.