Commissioners review burn ban and fireworks
The burn ban and fireworks were some of the major topics at the regular session of Orange County Commissioners’ Court Monday.
of Orange County have reached the highest level on the Keetch-Byram
Drought Index. Jeff Kelley, Emergency Management director, advised
commissioners to keep the burn ban in effect. The county is 16-20
inches short of rainfall this year. Kelley said the county hasn’t seen
drought conditions this severe since 2000.
people from the fireworks industry came to speak before the court this
week since commissioners banned aerial fireworks at last week’s court
session. Jaime Peltz representing Joe’s Hogwild Fireworks asked the
court not to place a total ban on fireworks. She said fireworks are
regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. According to
Peltz, fireworks are tested for safety “to make sure they are not the
fire hazards people think they are.” She stated it is the misuse of
fireworks that causes fires.
said closing the short window of sales opportunity is very detrimental
to not only fireworks stands but also area organizations. Volunteers
man their booths for a percentage of the sales. She also said there is
an additional two percent sales tax on fireworks in Texas that goes
into a fund specifically for volunteer fire departments. “All they have
to do is apply for these benefits.”
Daughtery, President of Texas Fireworks Association said less than 1
percent of fires are from fireworks. He asks them to just prohibit use
before they prohibit sales and use.
of right now, I don’t mind telling you, the judges, there’s not a
single one of us that wants to pass a total ban, including myself,”
said Thibodeaux. “That’s like banning ice cream and apple pie in
America.” But, Thibodeaux did say he was going to keep a close eye on
U.M. Army headed to Orange
Mainer of the U.M. Army (United Methodist Action Reach-out Mission by
Youth) presented to the Commissioners information concerning the
organization and their mission. July 17, approximately 80 youth and 40
adults will be in the area for one week to assist citizens in Orange
County and Port Arthur by building wheelchair ramps, handrails and
steps. They also repair roofs and floors, do sheetrock work, paint and
clean yards. “This is an unusual mission in that the kids actually pay
to do this. There is no cost whatsoever to the recipient,” said Mainer.
The homes they work on are referred by area churches or agencies. “We
do pre-qualify all of our sites in terms of need and if it’s something
we can do.” Mainer said they don’t do any plumbing or electrical work.
Mainer can be reached at 713-828-4626.
Beaumont VA helps with veterans
of vacancies that were created in the Veteran’s office by last week’s
dismissals, Thibodeaux said that vets needing immediate action can pick
up their files and take them to the VA clinic in Beaumont. Thibodeaux
said the Beaumont office had agreed to see Orange County veterans that
need to be seen right away. “The veterans are being patient about it. A
few are frustrated and I can understand that,” said Thibodeaux. They
will start making new appointments in the Orange Veteran’s office for
June 27. Thibodeaux said hopefully they will have the positions filled
by then. He said when the veteran’s office is back to full force vets
can bring their files back to Orange.
said Tuesdays and Thursdays, buses will be available if the veterans
don’t want to drive to Beaumont or do not have transportation to get
there. The criteria haven’t been set yet but Thibodeaux said they need
to know ahead of time and so does Beaumont so they can staff
accordingly. To ride Tuesday the transportation office needs to know by
the previous Friday. For Thursday trips, Thibodeaux said they need to
reserve their spot by Tuesday. He said the veterans’ office is
overloaded, so to call for a ride, call Thibodeaux’s office: 409-882-7070 or the transportation office: 409-886-1783.
court approved advertising for the vacant veteran’s service officer
position and the vacant benefits coordinator. It was suggested that a
committee make the selection of the VSO and allowing the new VSO hire
the benefits coordinator.
said that the volunteers to the veterans’ office had been frozen last
week and were not allowed in the office. The employees still at the
veterans’ office requested the return of two volunteers: J.C. Statum
and Betty Conway. The court approved the request.
In other news
Waldon, David Dubose, Jeff Kelley, Bobby Fillyaw, Doug Manning, Dan
Barclay, Thomas Foreman and Josephine Jarrell with TxDot Aviation were
appointed to the Orange County Airport Advisory Board.
County Sheriff, Keith Merritt, requested the approval of the 2011-2012
contract with the Orangefield ISD. Merritt said it is the same contract
as in the past except the hours had been cut back a little and the pay
rate changed due to educational budget cuts. This contract will be
effective on Aug. 22, 2011 and shall continue thereafter unless any
party involved gives 60 days notice
Orange County Tax Office in Orange will be closed Wednesday, June 15,
for computer upgrade and reorganization of the equipment. The Vidor Tax
Office will remain open 8 a.m.-4:45 p.m.
Purchasing Agent, Connie Cassidy, permission to seek bids on bulk fuel
for the county and one Zodiac Inflatable Rescue Watercraft
Boat/Motor/Trailer. The boat is requested by the Emergency Management
Department and will be funded by the Department of Homeland Security.
of Health and Code Compliance, Joel Ardoin, asked Commissioners for
approval of the ten applications recommended by the On-Site sewer
system project committee for the Community Development Block Grant.
court voted to pay $43,395.97 to Carroll & Blackman, Inc., from the
general fund for the coastal study for storm surge in Orange
County.”This is the study we’re doing for the possibility of building a
levee system,” said Thibodeaux.
Thibodeaux said he signed the contracts last week for the C.H.A.M.P.S.
building to be built on FM1442. “Hopefully construction will start to
take shape in a couple of weeks,” he said.