C.H.A.M.P.S project gaining headway
Brian Smith, with Convergent Non-Profit Solutions out of Jacksonville, Fla., presented an update on the C.H.A.M.P.S building and other projects to the Orange County Commissioners on Monday, Dec. 20.
The Emergency Shelter of Last Resort and the development of the property around with recreational outdoor facilities. “We have completed a feasibility study to determine public sector support for the project, particularly in terms of creating a public/private partnership where we can enlist public/private sector funds so we can support the project,” Smith said. “The study was positive, in that it is estimated that there is estimated in the neighborhood of $3 million available within the county for the project.”
Smith has completed an analysis study and is in the process of completing an impact analysis on how this facility will affect the county. Smith will then present this information to the private sector contributors to show them what type of return this investment will have on the community. This is expected to be completed in a few weeks.
Over the next few weeks, the total amount of development, construction and operations on the facilities will be worked on. “It’s important that the private sector donors, as well as the county, understand the cost associated with operations and maintenance because we want to include that in our fund raising efforts,” Smith said.
Smith explained that the Bridge City Softball Association is committed to helping raise a substantial amount of money to help fund the softball facilities. They will also help ensure that the softball facilities are used to it fullest.
County Judge Carl Thibodeaux explained that the fund raising dollars will go to cover the cost of the amenities. “The fund raising for the C.H.A.M.P.S. Building will not cover the government building,” he said.
Thibodeaux went on to explain that the shell of the building will be built and the public side will be ready for use. However, the government side of the building will then be built. “We’re still working on getting grant money for that particular side of the building,” he said.
Even though the Orange County Emergency Service District No. 1 had been fighting fires last week, the Emergency Management Office did not recommend a burn ban be put into effect. Since there won’t be a Commissioners’ Court meeting next week due to the holidays, should a burn ban be needed, the County Judge will be able to sign an emergency ban that will be in effect for seven days. After that, the court will have to reconvene to put an official burn ban in place.
The commissioners approved the appoint Wayne Allen Frederick and Aurthor Hickey to a two year term as Commissioners on the Orange County Emergency Service District No. 4 beginning Jan. 1.
The total for bills paid this week is $600,561.98.
This Commissioners’ Court meeting was not only that last one for 2010, but it was also the last meeting for Precinct 4 Commissioner Beamon Minton.
“I’ve enjoyed the eight years of camaraderie and I’m leaving with no ill feelings and no animosity towards anyone,” Minton said. “I hope I’ve made a few friends here. This county is in good hands.”
Last week, he was honored with a plaque and reception thanking him for the eight years of service he dedicated to the Orange County citizens.
The four commissioners and the county judge wished all a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.