Precinct 3 Commissioner John Dubose wants the county to prohibit boaters from causing large waves from wake in neighborhoods along waterways, plus he wants to stop gunfire in the Waterwood subdivision of Bridge City.

Dubose during Monday’s meeting of the Orange County Commissioners Court said he wants to discuss the two subjects at the June 9 meeting. He also wants the county attorney to look into the legalities of making the rules and enforcing them.

County Judge Carl Thibodeaux said a previous resolution trying to stop boaters from making a large wake included the wording to include “all navigable waterways” in or abutting Orange County.

Thibodeaux said he was looking at trying to solve a similar problem with boat waves along the Sabine River off West Bluff Road.

The county would probably need to put up signs along the waterways to be able to enforce a “no wake” rule.

Assistant County Attorney Doug Manning said Commissioners Court could probably have a resolution “prohibiting unlawful discharge of firearms in subdivisions.”
Under state law, a county cannot pass ordinances like cities.

In other business, County Engineer Les Anderson said the construction of a new, relocated section of the Four Oaks Ranch Road is progressing. He said the new section should be completed by the start of the fall semester of school, so school buses could travel on the new part of the road.

Four Oaks Ranch Road runs along the Neches River outside of Vidor. For decades, erosion of the river bank has eaten away at sections of the road, leaving dangerous cliffs alongside the road. Through the years, parts of the road have collapsed into the river.

Commissioners Court approved a reorganization of the Court Administrator’s Office because of a request from the state district judges in the county.

Commissioners agreed to return the management of the Court Administrator’s Office to the panel of district judges, which is how the office once worked.

As part of the reorganization, Glenda Mello will become the court administrator, replacing Jo Stephens, who recently retired.

Joan Worthy will move into the position previously held by Mello, and then Debbie Risher will move into the position held by Worthy.

Commissioners Court approved “the permanent loan” of $83,311 in radio equipment to the City of Orange. The county obtained the equipment through a federal Homeland Security grant.

Also, commissioners agreed to give the Parks Department an extra $3,615 in the department’s budget to cover the increasing costs of fuel, oil and gas. Thibodeaux said the extra money will come from a special fund set up by the county auditor to handle the unbudgeted expenses brought from the rapid increases of fuel costs.

The county received two federal grants for reimbursements of money already spent. The two grants totaled $416,000, so commissioners agreed to allocate the “unexpected revenue” from the grants to cover the rising costs of fuel.

Commissioners in the past month have approved extra fuel money for the Road and Bridge Department and the Transportation Department, which provides small buses for use by senior citizens and the handicapped.

Commissioners have also asked department heads to think of ways to use less fuel.