Vidor developer sued for filling in flood way
A Vidor businessman is being sued by Orange County for loading fill material into a flood way. Douglas Manning, assistant county attorney, told the Orange County Commissioners’ Court at their Monday afternoon meeting the lawsuit is against developer Sonny Stevenson of Parkwood Land Company for creating a public nuisance. The lawsuit will be filed in the U.S. District Court of the eastern district of Texas.
Joel Ardoin, code compliance officer, said FEMA told the county the fill material must be removed from the east bank of the Neches River at the Purple Heart Memorial Bridge on Interstate 10. Likewise, the county is suing to abate it. Ardoin said the if the problem is not corrected, Orange County will be penalized by FEMA. The worst case scenario would be for county residents flood insurance costs to increase.
At the last commissioners’ court meeting on June 23, Precinct 4 Commissioner Jody Crump asked the court for the status of where Stevenson’s permit was in the process of approval or disapproval. Stevenson filed a request to the code compliance office on March 28, 2014. County Judge Carl Thibodeaux said no action was taken by the court, but he wanted a decision for Stevenson by the following week. Stevenson was informed this week his permit was denied.
Precinct 3 Commissioner John Banken thanked the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Road & Bridge Department, the emergency management department and others for their response to the natural gas leak in Orangefield. Thibodeaux and Crump also thanked the first responders for doing a “great job.” He also thanked the homeowners in Orangefield for their patience.
David W. Smith of the Texas State Militia also spoke during the comments session of the meeting. He said the Beaumont unit of the Texas State Militia has disbanded and the Golden Triangle unit has now formed. The organization is actively recruiting and asking for support from the community.
The right of way for the John Davenport Survey, otherwise know as Weatherford Road, was abandoned by the county. Manning said the 50-foot right of way has never been developed and the county has no plans to develop it. The road will be abandoned by law to go to the estate holder.
The court approved internment of the unclaimed remains of an indigent deceased resident. The deceased resident does not qualify for indigent burial but no authorized person claims the remains and orders internment. Manning said the deceased resident was taken to the Jefferson County Morgue for an autopsy. The next of kin refused to claim the body and is exempted from doing so. Orange County is authorized to inter the body. A probate and claim have been filed for the assets of the deceased estate so the county will be reimbursed.