Dave Rogers

For the Record

 

Orange County’s Michelle Tubbleville announced Tuesday two new types of assistance available to residents affected by Tropical Storm Harvey.

The county’s coordinator of special projects reminded citizens who had home damage, they could apply for assistance from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs Wednesday and Thursday.

ITBS, the Institute for Building Technology and Safety, will be signing up applicants from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Wednesday, registration will be at the Orange County Administration Building, 123 S. 6th St, Orange; and Thursday’s will be at Vidor City Hall, 1395 N. Main, Vidor.

Homes that qualify can be either stick-built or mobile home. Eligibility requirements are: Applicant must own the home and property; Applicant must qualify as low to moderate income as determined by HUD; and the affected home cannot be inside a floodway zone as shown on the most current FEMA FIRM map.

Also, Tubbleville relayed that Nehemiah’s Visions will have 1,100 volunteers coming to help this summer.

The week of July 18-25, volunteers will be available to pick up debris, both storm debris and that arising from new construction.

Nehemiah’s Vision can be contacted at 409-617-1038.

Joel Ardoin, county emergency management coordinator, added that while the FEMA-operated Disaster Recovery Centers in Orange County had closed, in-person appointments to review Harvey related cases are still available.

Those interested should call 202-717-6520 to make appointments.

Also at Tuesday’s session, the Commissioners’ Court voted to OK a starting salary of $84,115 to hire an assistant county attorney to handle Child Protective Services cases.

County Attorney Tom Kimbrough asked that the county allow him to start the new hire off at the 10-year mark on the pay matrix because the attorney sought had 10 years experience, much of it with CPS cases.

“This seems like something we need to move on pretty quick,” Commissioner Johnny Trahan said.

“CPS court is a special court. I feel like we need to make a move to get someone in there that’s going to handle it.”

Commissioners paid $160,000 in bills to start the session. Auditor Pennee Schmitt and Sheriff Keith Merritt got their wish to set up a special budget to receive a $132,000 award from Spindletop Center that funds the office of Mental Health Liaison Deputy created a week ago.