The Mosquito Control Department for Orange County saw a

significant increase in mosquito activity in the month of July.

Prior to increase in activity, which began on July 21, they had

eight calls into their office. The remaining 206 service request calls came

after due to all of the rain we’ve been experiencing.

“We can’t have rain without the mosquito,” Patrick Beebe, director

of the Orange County Mosquito Control department, told the Commissioners’ Court

on Monday.

The ground spray treatments covered a total of 131,328 acres

treated throughout the county for the month of July. The aerial spray

treatments covered 170,240 acres.

“We did increase all of our spray treatments throughout the

county,” Beebe said. “We’ve been scheduling two flights in the morning and one

in the evening, as long as weather allows. We’ve been spraying three flights a

day for almost two weeks now and we’ve increased the ground treatments.”

Beebe assures the Commissioners that his department is working the

best they can to treat all of the affected areas in the county. Some areas of

the county are not as affected by the mosquitoes as others, but the entire

county is having problems with them. The Mosquito Control office targets the most

heavily affected areas first in order to keep the other less affected areas

from getting a mass influx of mosquito activity.

Beebe assured the Commissioners that when they will continue

working to decrease the mosquito population in all parts of the county that

they are allowed to treat. Beebe also

said that his office has been working seven days a week to help the citizens of

Orange County with this problem.

The Commissioner looked at a summary of the budget for 2011/2012 even

though a Budget Workshop is scheduled for Thursday at 10 a.m.

The tax revenue and sales tax is estimated to be the same as last

year. The only revenue that has changed is that the county is due to received

$2.5 million from FEMA, however they may receive as little as last year. The

County is seeing a revenue increase of $804,525 from last year, for a total of


The County estimated that the operating expenses for 2011/2012 would

be $40,272,810 with payroll costing $23,892,674 (roughly 59 percent of the

expenses), and all other expenses costing $16,105,136 (an increase of $52,434).

That leaves a difference of $84,800.

The total budget for this upcoming year will increase by one

percent, $463,641.

Effective tax rate was not available when the budget summary was


The National Association of Counties (NACo) contacted the County

Judge, Carl Thibodeaux, about a program where they’ll produce videos promoting

the county for economic development purposes. They then take those videos and

put them on the county’s website at no cost to the county. The NACo will seek local businesses to sponsor

these videos.

The Commissioners approved of the agreement between NACo and

Orange County.

Other business

The Commissioners approved the payment of bills for the week which

total $201,036.46 including $2,300 to Memorial

Funeral Home from the general fund for indigent funeral expenses, two cases at

$1,150 each; $1,150 to Claybar Funeral Home from the general fund for indigent

funeral expenses; $1,150 to Dorman Funeral Home from the general fund for

indigent funeral expenses; and $39.78 to Regina Chargois from the general fund

for county travel during July.

The Commissioners adopted a special

budget with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts for tobacco

compliance and enforcement for activities in Orange County. This was a grant of

$4,500 that the Orange County Sheriff’s Department applied for to help with

enforcing the tobacco laws in the county.

The Commissioners also adopted a

special budget with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for

supplies and materials for diabetes. Paul Tacker,County Extension

Agent-Family and Consumer Sciences, applied for this $2,500 grant and

the county acted as a pass-through.


purchase of LT210 Pro GSM/GPS ($4,673) for the Sheriff’s Department was

approved by the Commissioners. This is surveillance equipment that is being purchased

out of their Drug Forfeiture funds.


will be four to six weeks [before we’ll get it] and it will greatly enhance our

ability to do a lot of the things that we do,” Sheriff Keith Merritt said. “It’s

familiar with all of the surrounding agencies and all the cities. It’s the same

equipment that everyone’s using and it will benefit everybody.”

About Nicole Gibbs

Editor of The Record Newspapers