New county vehicles to combat mosquitos
There will be some new wheels for some county departments.
The Orange County Commissioners’ Court approved the purchase of a 2012 Ford F-150 with options and a 2012 Ford F-150 with options and a lift gate at their meeting Monday afternoon. These vehicles were approved as capital outlay expenditures for the mosquito control department.
A 1998 Ford F-150 and a 1999 Ford F-250 with a lift gate will be traded-in for the new vehicles.
Precinct 3 Commissioner John Dubose favored Purchasing Agent Connie Cassidy to go out for quotes on the vehicles.
Tina Barrow, elections administrator for Orange County, said during the citizens’ comments portion of the meeting the blue and white voter’s registration cards have now expired. The new cards will be yellow but they can’t be issue until the redistricting map is solved statewide.
She added the primary schedule for April 3 in Texas may not happen and the next earliest date to have one would be April 17 with early voting starting April 2. There will also be open filing again.
Commissioners approved moving next week’s meeting to start at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Monday’s meeting is canceled due to President’s Day.
Douglas Manning, county attorney, announced former County Auditor Todd Mixson may had suffered a stroke and is in a hospital in Houston.
Jeff Kelley, emergency management coordinator, reported the remainder walls on the shelter of last resort on FM 1442 were put up last Saturday.Forty percent of the shelter is now complete.
“It’s impressive,” he said.
A three-inch force main pipe will be located on the south side within the county right of way of Simmons Road in Vidor. The force will not be under the road surface to damage it, according to County Engineer Les Anderson. The pipe is for a new multifamily apartment complex being built off of FM 105 N.
Also approved was the hiring to bill a budgeted clerk position in the tax assessor-collector office. This position will be vacated by March 1 due to a clerk retiring. Two seasonal part-time parks department employees were hired too.
Gene Smith, Orange County Veterans’ Service Officer, reported to the court the veteran service office is a free service provided by the commissioners’ court and taxpayers.
“Our veterans are encouraged to take full advantage of this programs,” Smith stated. “There are several independent so-called ‘National Accredited Service Coordinators’ within the area who claim that they do not charge for their services.
“However, the VA does allow an accredited coordinator to charge a 20 percent service fee for some services, paid by the veteran administration and deducted from the veteran’s gross pay by the VA.”
Smith said this is normally done on a Form 21-22a (fee agreement) that some coordinators may ask the veteran to sign without explanation, alone with the stack of other forms. He added any veteran who suspects they may be caught up in this system, there is a VA Form 0904 or a Form 4597 depending where the appeal must go that he may submit.