Commissioners received the “Building a Better Texas” Award Monday from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Agents Fallon Foster, Christina Perez and Roy Stanford.

Foster said the award acknowledges a 100 year agreement. “Your co-operation and support has made it possible for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to reach Orange County individually with much needed education programs that make their lives better.”

“Your continued support is advancement in the lives of Orange County citizens,” said Foster.

In other business, Twin Lakes subdivision in Bridge City, located in the Orangefield School District on Farm Road 105 has been declared complete and will begin the 12 month warranty period with the county. Stephen Gault, broker for Countryland Properties LLC said they will close on twelve lots Wednesday. “Building of the first home is expected to begin in June,” said Gault.

The property has 40 lots ready to build on with additional acreage available for future development. One of the selling points they have besides location is availability of high-speed internet on the property.

Clark Slacum, county engineer proposed to commissioners the purchase of a new chip spreader at a cost of $155,000.

“At this time, that scares me to death,” said Commissioner Pct. 4 Jody Crump of the potential purchase.

Slacum acknowledged the timing wasn’t good with the counties current finances, but at the same time there would be reimbursements in the General Land Office grants currently in place that would amount to approximately 20-25 percent of the purchase price. Two years down the road, those payment options will be gone. Slacum said the current equipment is 16 and 32 years old. “If it breaks when we have 1,000 yards of asphalt on the road, we’ll be in trouble,” said Slacum.

According to Slacum, even though the GLO would pay $50 an hour for rental equipment, the equipment is not available for rent. He said the equipment could be procured under a lease-purchase agreement, but he wasn’t sure how payments from the GLO would be effected under those conditions.

Commissioner Pct. 3 John Banken said he liked the idea of lease-purchase and asked Slacum to bring the matter back to the court with more information on what the lease-purchase option would cost and how it would affect the GLO payments.

Slacum also suggested a lease/purchase of a sand spreading unit for $11,000. Currently the county doesn’t utilize one. Slacum said it could help improve the public’s feelings about road work, by limiting the amount of tar that gets on cars and could be utilized to sand roads if we got into another freeze situation like this past winter.

Banken and Judge Carl Thibodeaux voted for it. Crump, Commissioners David Dubose and Owen Burton voted no. Burton said he wasn’t against it, just not at this time.

Commissioners voted to approve sale of two manufactured homes owned by the county. Winning bids were $17,105 and $8,356. Burton suggested if the sale had been an earlier agenda item, he might have approved the sand spreader.

Next Monday is the Memorial Day holiday and the courthouse is closed. If commissioners’ court convenes next week, it will be on Tuesday. The decision and time will be announcement later this week.

Pictured left to right front row: Roy Stanford, Fallon Foster and Christina Perez; all of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Back row: David Dubose, Owen Burton, Carl Thibodeaux, John Banken and Jody Crump. 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.