David Ball

For The Record

The setting of an appeals hearing was delayed concerning a Vidor land developer at the regular meeting of the Orange County Commissioners’ Court on Monday afternoon.

County Judge Carl Thibodeaux wanted to delay voting on the measure because Jody Crump, Precinct 4 commissioner, was absent at Monday’s meeting and the judge wanted a full commissioners court to vote. Also, the property lies in Precinct 4.

The agenda item was worded as setting an appeals hearing for Parkwood Land Company and/or appointing an appeals board to hear such appeals.

In the July 3, 2014 edition of The Record, it was reported a Vidor businessman was sued by Orange County for loading fill material into a flood way. Douglas Manning, assistant county attorney, told the Orange County Commissioners’ Court at their meeting the lawsuit is against developer Sonny Stevenson of Parkwood Land Company for creating a public nuisance. The lawsuit will be filed in the U.S. District Court of the eastern district of Texas.

Joel Ardoin, code compliance officer, said FEMA told the county the fill material must be removed from the east bank of the Neches River at the Purple Heart Memorial Bridge on Interstate 10. Likewise, the county is suing to abate it. Ardoin said if the problem is not corrected, Orange County will be penalized by FEMA. The worst case scenario would be for county residents’ flood insurance costs to increase.

At the last commissioners’ court meeting on June 23, Precinct 4 Commissioner Jody Crump asked the court for the status of where Stevenson’s permit was in the process of approval or disapproval. Stevenson filed a request to the code compliance office on March 28, 2014. County Judge Carl Thibodeaux said no action was taken by the court, but he wanted a decision for Stevenson by the following week. Stevenson was informed this week his permit was denied.

Also delayed was a vote regarding the SpyGlass Group, Inc. audit agreement with the county. That item will also be voted upon at next week’s meeting.

Thibodeaux said his office was contacted by SP Services who can also offer the same services to the county.

Thomas Lower, regional sales director for SpyGlass Group, Inc., a cost audit firm, presented to the court at their Sept. 16 meeting a program to reduce the county’s telecommunications costs.

The company was founded in 2001.

Lastly, commissioners approved a transportation contract with the South East Texas Regional Planning Commission. Donna Minter, transportation director for the county, said the contract is for $360,501, $26,293 less than last year’s. John Banken, Precinct 3 commissioner, asked why the amount was lower this time. He was informed federal dollars have been cut.