County approves pipeline abatement
Orange County Commissioners this week approved an economic development agreement with contractors for the Denbury Green Pipeline, which promises 50 tax cents on each dollar spent for supplies purchased.
The “direct payment permits” concept concerns about 20 miles of Orange County.
The 300-mile carbon dioxide transmission pipeline is estimated to cost about $10.6 million, with the full expense of the project at some $900 million. The agreement approved this week could net the county upwards of $26,000.
Under the concept, the county will see tax monies whether or not items are purchased inside or outside of Orange County. County Judge Carl Thibodeaux has described it as a “mini-tax abatement.” The direct payment permit concept is about 25 years old in Texas, however, new to Orange County.
In other business this week:
• The court awarded a bid to install ATMs at the county courthouse, administration building and the Vidor tax office to A and S Datacash of Houston. A and S was the only company who responded on the call for bids. Officials hope the machines will help expedite fee payments. County Purchasing Agent Janelle Duchamp said A and S has been in business about 18 years. The county will pay the electric bills but not be liable for potential damages to the machines. A and S will charge $2 per transaction, of which the county will receive 50 cents, Duchamp said.
• A proclamation was read honoring Vidor High School student Allan Parker, who recently received a scholarship for $20,000 by winning a statewide hands-on automotive competition. He now advances to a national skills competition in June in Kansas City, Mo.
• Emergency Management’s Jeff Kelley announced that the FEMA Area Field Office in Orange would close by the end of May or mid-June. Judge Carl Thibodeaux said he believes the county has completed some 75 percent of its FEMA dealings, and was far ahead of Chambers and Galveston counties. Thibodeaux, who experienced it all first with Hurricane Rita, said, “As your workload decreases, they’ll go ahead and pull out and that’s a good sign.”
• Thibodeaux announced that his secretary Jacque Craft will retire. A reception in her honor is set for 2 to 4 p.m. May 29 in the commissioners’ courtroom. Craft has been with the county for more than 31 years. Jeannine Denman will take over Craft’s duties and Autumn Bradley will divide her time between Thibodeaux’s office and other county offices.
• Treasurer Vergie Moreland said about $40,000 would likely be received from the state comptroller’s unclaimed property division – for funds earmarked for Orange County from 1980-2005. The funds were never previously delivered.