Dave Rogers

For The Record

 

Orange County Commissioners saluted Bridge City’s Pearl Harbor survivor by declaring Wednesday, Nov. 7 “Cedric Stout Day.”

Wednesday is also the Louisiana native’s 97th birthday.

Stout, who moved to Southeast Texas after returning from World War II service, was unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting of County Commissioners’ Court.

County Judge Dean Crooks noted that the USS Utah, Stout’s ship that was sunk by Japanese bombs and torpedoes in the sneak attack on Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor, remains on the bottom and a monument to the 64 men who died aboard it sits over it.

“Monuments are great,” Crooks said, “but this is a living monument in Orange County, and he [Stout] is.

“Sometimes we forget on Veterans Day that we have people that have done so much for us.”

Tuesday’s agenda was light and included a similar proclamation declaring Saturday, Nov. 10 “Orange County Special Angels Rodeo Day.”

The special-needs rodeo will be at the T2 Arena in Orange from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. About 300 special-needs children, teens and adults are expected to participate.

Commissioners finalized their decision to issue $8 million in Tax and Revenue Anticipation Notes, which is short-term cash flow insurance to cover county expense if an anticipated $2.5 million FEMA check does not arrive before the end of the year.

The three-month line of credit with Wells Fargo begins in November at 3.5 percent interest and is due in January.  Borrowers must use a minimum of $2 million, even if FEMA payments arrive in time.

“The whole idea is we don’t spend a lot on interest,” Crooks said.

In other action, the county paid $855,000 in bills, among them a $249,000 check to Wendorf, Beward & Partners, the county’s grant administrator for FEMA and other reimbursements for damage caused by Tropical Storm Harvey in 2017.

Joel Ardoin, the county emergency management coordinator, told commissioners about a still nascent program for the Texas General Land Office Housing Assistance Program set to begin in December.

“This is totally different from the buyout,” Ardoin said. “This is a program for rehab and replacement [of homes damaged in Harvey].”

While he noted many people had completed repairs of their homes, there remains more than 300 families living in temporary trailer housing, “which is a lot.”

Commissioners agreed to make space for a handful of intake specialist to sign up people.

Details of the Housing Assistance Program are only now being unveiled, Ardoin said.