Thibodeaux wants sheriff’s substation off state right-of-way
Sheriff Mike White told Commissioners Court a surveyor has determined that part of the trailer for a temporary substation in Mauriceville is on the state’s highway right-of-way property.
White said the county could get permission from the Texas Department of Transportation to leave the trailer on the right-of-way, with legal agreements made in 90-day increments. However, County Judge Carl Thibodeaux said he doesn’t want a building associated with the county on the state right-of-way.
White said he will see if the landowner, Mike Hamilton, who is a state representative, will accommodate moving the trailer off the right-of-way, if there is room.
Commissioners Court met Tuesday because the courthouse was closed Monday for the Texas Independence Day holiday.
The issue of the right-of-way encroachment came up last when White talked to commissioners about installing utilities to the trailer. The sheriff’s office has not had a substation in Mauriceville since Hurricane Rita in 2005 damaged the small building the county rented from Hamilton.
The county has been working on acquiring land from Hamilton to build a permanent substation.
In other business, Commissioners Court agreed to allow lame-duck officials to spend only a month’s worth of their county budgets without permission from Commissioners Court.
Thibodeaux said state regulations now require counties to pass a budget limit for the officials who have lost a primary or general election, but will stay in office until their tem ends. Thibodeaux said he doesn’t think any Orange County officials would abuse budgets, but other counties have had a commissioner spend a whole year’s road budget in three months to leave a new commissioner with nothing in the budget.
Primary races were Tuesday, so the county needed to set the limit before the election had ended.
Also, commissioners decided not to abandon county right-of-way access to Polk Street by the courthouse near Market Street. Carroll G. Holt, who owns land by Polk and the Sabine River, has asked the city of Orange to give up the right-of-way.
County maintenance director Mark Wimberley told Commissioners Court his department wouldn’t have access to maintenance buildings without a public right-of-way. He also said the city has a sewer outfall line on the property is opposing the request.
Commissioners agreed to another five-year lease extension for the county on Blue Bird Fish Camp, off Simmons Drive and on Cypress Bayou. Thibodeaux said the waterfront land belongs to the state, and the county leases it for $25 for five years.
Other business Tuesday included the county appointing new Bridge City City Manager Jerry Jones to the Orange County Economic Development Commission. The seat had been held by previous Bridge City City Manger Don Fields, who recently retired.