Sheriff Mike White told Commissioners Court Monday that the sheriff’s office could build a new substation in Mauriceville using money forfeited through drug dealers.
Mauriceville businessman and State Representative Mike Hamilton has offered to donate 0.73 of an acre to the county for the substation by Texas 62 and Highway 12. The county has rented a small building from Hamilton as the substation, but the building is not being used because of mold and other problems after Hurricane Rita.

White said the new substation could be 50 feet by 60 feet in size, or even 60 feet by 60 feet. He estimates the building, plus parking lot and drive construction, along with installation of utilities, computers and furnishings could cost a total of about $250,000.
Though no schematic plans have been made for the site or the proposed building, White said he would like for the building to include a waiting area, interview room, offices and meeting room.

White told commissioners he has met with the Texas Department of Transportation about the project and access to the site. TxDOT is planning to build a carpool parking lot by the site and would like to see the sheriff’s substation there, he said.
Interest has grown in a new Mauriceville substation in recent months after the growing area has had a number of burglaries and thefts.

During the public comments part of Monday’s meeting, Brooks Switzer, who lives in the Mauriceville area, asked commissioners to hold an evening meeting when they discuss adding patrol deputies to the sheriff’s office. He said people who work cannot attend the regular Monday afternoon court meetings.

County Judge Carl Thibodeaux said maybe the court could have an evening workshop, but added, “I’m not going to guarantee anything.”

Commissioners told White he can go ahead with plans for a new substation, but they indicated they want to see schematic plans of the site and building before approving anything.

In other business, Commissioners Court agreed to work with the city of Vidor and the Orange County Drainage District on plans to monitor storm-water, non-point source pollution into the Neches River. Non-point source pollution is run-off water from places like yards, streets, parking lots, parks and construction sites.

The plan to monitor the run-off is new and officials said the system will likely be required in the future in other areas of the county.

Thibodeaux commented that someday “we’ll have to put diapers on every bit of wildlife in Orange County,” referring to the animal droppings that end up in run-off water.

Thibodeaux announced that flags on county buildings will be flown at half-staff until Friday to honor Wallace Stanley, who died this past weekend of cancer. Stanley was a longtime county worker and was the foreman of the Precinct 3 Road and Bridge Department. Thibodeaux also said county employees may go to Stanley’s funeral Thursday afternoon without asking permission from him.

A benefit barbecue for Stanley’s family will be held Saturday, Jan. 26, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Market Basket parking lot in Bridge City.

Also in business Monday, Commissioners Court agreed that all departments spending $5,000 or more on a capital outlay item should come before the court for permission.
Commissioners Court will not meet Monday, Jan. 21, because the courthouse will be closed for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Commissioners Court will meet at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, instead.