Gulf Coast Cajun Club invites Commissioners and Community to Festival on Oct. 16

Rusty Benoit, president of the Gulf Coast Cajun Club, and Woody Dugas, a board member of the Cajun Club, announced the Cajun Club’s second annual Cajun festival at Commissioners’ Court on Monday, Oct. 4. The fesitival will take place at the VFW in Orange on Saturday, Oct 16 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.  “Last year we had a big success,” Benoit said. “We brought in over 600 people from out of town.  New Orleans, Houston, San Antonio and they are already making reservations [at local hotels] for next saturday.”

They will have gumbo, rice balls, pork skin, music, dancing, prizes, cake walks and auctions.  They are a non-profit organization and give out a scholarship with their fundraising. 

Benoit and Dugas asked the commissioners to help them out as much as they can be spreading the news of this festival. 

“This is good for Orange,” Dugas said. “Last week, we were told that the Hampton and the Ramada Inn are already getting reservations,” Benoit said. 

County Judge Carl Thibodeaux encouraged Benoit and the Gulf Coast Cajun Club to keep track of how many people came from out of town and to which hotels they stayed at.  If they can get this information together, they could apply the Hotel/Motel Tax Fund to see if they qualify for assistance next year.  “If you can show where people stay locally for your events, it makes your application that much stronger,” Thibodeaux said.

The Gulf Coast Cajun Club meets at the American Legion Hall once a month, and “anybody, cajun or non-cajun, is welcome to join this club,” Dugas said.

Recognition of National 4-H week

Marie Kenny, county extension agent for 4-H and youth Development, approached the court to ask for recognition in Orange County of National 4-H week for Oct. 3 through Oct 9. The commissioners, without hesitation, passed the issue.

Kenny went on to explain that Saturday, Oct. 9 will be National 4-H Day.  The entire state of Texas comes together as 4-H and will do projects to help out the community. It is known as One Day 4-H.

FEMA Buyouts

The court approved a total of $388,226.50 to be paid to Security Abstract & Title for eight residential properties to be bought out. Jeff Kelley, emergency management coordinator for Orange County, stated that those with a rent house were allowed to qualify for the buyout program.

Orange County’s giant salvinia problem

Precinct 3 Commissioner John Dubose informed the court that he, Sheriff Keith Merritt and Health and Code Compliance Director Joel Ardoin are working with a representative from the Parks and Wildlife office having been discussing the problem of the giant salvinia and what to do to fix it.

According the United States Geological Survey, the giant salvinia is a native of South America.  The giant salvinia grows rapidly, covering the tops of lakes, rivers and streams.  Boaters are encouraged to remove all plant life from the propellor and trailer before leaving the loading zone.  This helps with keeping the plant from spreading to other lakes, streams and rivers.  Once the giant salvinia meets saltwater, it dies but left in fresh water, it grows exponentially.

The Parks and Wildlife office has a program that will reimburse the county for the spray needed to control this plant.

An aerial photograph is needed to determine which areas are heavily effected and how much acreage is effected.  This will be an ongoing maintenance issues.  Commissioner John Dubose suggested that this be added to the County budget even though the money will be refunded.

Other Business

Wayne Allen Frederick was appointed to the ESD #4 Board of Commissioners with his term ending on Dec. 31, 2010.  M.J Girlinghouse was also appointed to the ESD #4 Board of Commissioners with his term ending on Dec. 31, 2011.

Douglas Manning, assistant county attorney explained that there was a typographical error to the second amended contract with Five Star Food Services for inmate provisions.  Manning claimed responsibility for the error but stated the contract is being followed as intended and only the error needs to be fixed.

Jesse C. McClain, MIS director, asked the court to sign the contract between Orange County and Tyler Technologies that would upgrade the County’s Human Resources and Financial Department’s hardware and software.  McClain received a confirmation email on Friday, Oct. 1 stating that the County does not have to pay the mandatory 25 percent down payment until Jan. 2011.  The new hardware and software should be ready to use by approximately Feb. 2011.

Thibodeaux announced Don Anderson’s transfer from the Orange County Coastal Impact Assistance Program to Adult Probation.

Thibodeaux also announced that there will be a station at the press table for the media to plug in their recorders.  This allows the meetings to be completely recorded without disrupting the court session.

Manning asked the court to add the Texas Pledge of Allegiance to the beginning of each court session.  Thibodeaux said a vote was not needed and they would start saying the Texas Pledge at next week’s meeting.

About Nicole Gibbs

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