County commissioners this week approved to hire an architect to design a new adult probation building and Precinct 3 justice of the peace office.

The county will basically trade property owned by the Heritage House across the street from the courthouse grounds. It will then tear down one of the museum building, not repairable after Hurricane Ike, and build a new one. 

“The Heritage House does not have the money to tear the building down,” County Judge Carl Thibodeaux said. “And we (the county) need that lot to build the new adult probation building.”

The new building will be a higher elevation than the last, he said.
“We’ll be able to put a nice building there that won’t flood anybody around it,” he said.

Maintenance Director Mark Wimberly presented proposed designs for the new structure and the proposed offices of Justice Janice Menard, which moved from Farm Road 1442 to temporary quarters at the Orange County airport. Adult probation business is temporarily taking place at the Tarver Center.

Mark Magnuson and Associates was the approved firm.

County employee flu shots available
County employees can get regular season flu shots on a first come, first served basis starting at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in the commissioners’ courtroom in the county administration building. The county will reimburse employees for the $14 shots if they take their receipt to the personnel office, Personnel Director Jill Frillou told commissioners. 

“We were unable to do this last year because of the hurricane,” she said.

Shots will be given by a nurse with the University of Texas Medical Branch.

Swine flu shots
Commissioners also approved to pick up the tab on an extra charge for county employees regarding the upcoming H1N1 viral flu shots.
“The government is paying for the vaccine, but there is an administrative fee,” Frillou said. Fees can be anywhere from $10 to $20 depending on the employee’s provider.

“I don’t want to mislead and guarantee that you’re going to get the swine flu vaccine,” she said. “That’s up to employee providers.”

Sewage facility upgrades
Loss Control Coordinator Don Anderson said he’d been approved for $737,196 in grants regarding the Coastal Impact Assistance Program, which is for on-site sewage facility upgrades in Orange County. As Monday’s agenda described it, “The project sill install property functioning septic systems where none exist, replace malfunctioning septic systems or tie-in to existing sewer systems.” Information on how to apply will be available in forthcoming newspapers ads. Loss control’s office number is 882-7861.

No action on salvage yard
Commissioners took no action to allow Michael Judy to move his Vidor salvage yard, Judy’s Iron and Metal,  to 640 Evangeline Drive. The proposed location is next to property that has a house on it. Thibodeaux told Judy that if he owned the property next to the house also, and the land could be re-platted in county records, it would be acceptable. Resident M.G. Daniel protested the site, saying he and several neighbors didn’t want to live near a junkyard.