Orange County tables request for oil, gas exploration
A company’s request to proceed with its geophysical operations was tabled at the Orange County Commissioners’ Court at their meeting Monday afternoon.
John Hoke with Cimarex Company asked permission to vibe on Four Oaks Ranch Road in western Orange County for oil and gas exploration. The operation would start in August if approved.
Precinct 4 Commissioner Jody Crump — where Four Oaks Ranch Road lies within — asked what method of vibing they would use. Hoke said they will be using vibracides and explosives on private property and not on county right-of-ways.
Judge Carl Thibodeaux will have County Attorney Douglas Manning review the matter and document it before proceeding.
“They will be bringing heavy equipment down the road,” Thibodeaux said.
Crump added he would like the public notified before vibing started.
Jeff Kelley, emergency management coordinator for the county, recently attended an emergency management national conference in Orlando, Fla. and reported back to the court.
He said FEMA will be reintegrating its policies such as eliminating debris monitoring funds— funds used by Orange County in the aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Ike.
Kelley called the action “really disturbing.”
“It could potentially change how we do things and how we plan things,” he said.
FEMA officials told Kelley it would cost the agency more for debris monitoring than to pay for the cost of fraud.
In other emergency management business, the contractor will soon be pouring the concrete roof at the shelter of last resort on FM 1442. Work has begun on the structure’s interior walls.
Thibodeaux said Kelley gave a presentation on the FM 1442 facility at the conference in Orlando and did an “excellent job.”
Manning said Kelley is so thorough in his work, they started copyrighting his forms because vendors tried to copy them.
The Adult Probation Building at the intersection of Division Avenue and Border Street is scheduled to be completed at the end of May, Kelley added.
Gene Smith, director of the Veterans’ Service Office, said office registration was up nine percent while appointments were down seven percent. Veterans walking in for aid were up seven percent.
Thibodeaux told Smith he was doing a good job because Thibodeaux’s office wasn’t receiving as many complaints.
Dr. Roy Stanford with the department of AgriLife/Extension reported on educational activities such as living with diabetes, general healthy living and gardening.
The department has also been working on administrative and professional development activities such as fish stocking, diabetes prevention and 4-H Clubs. In fact, the program in Orange County was recognized by the Center for Disease Control, the only program in Texas to be recognized.
Lastly, a proclamation was read designating April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.”
Jane Stevenson, executive director for Advocates for Children, Inc. said 231 children died from abuse last year in Texas. Unfortunately, one of those children was from Orange.
To raise awareness for the issue, an Eagle Scout planted white crosses on the lawn of the Orange County Courthouse. The county is also flying a child abuse prevention flag over the courthouse and 231 balloons were released Monday afternoon.