Dave Rogers

For The Record

Thanks to FEMA’s promise to replace infrastructure lost to the 2017 Tropical Storm Harvey, two Orange County buildings will be getting new addresses for new structures and a third will be getting a make-over.

Commissioners voted recently to authorize construction of a new building adjacent to the County Convention & Expo Center on FM 1442 to house the Vidor Sheriff’s Office Substation and to purchase a new modular building to replace the Vidor office for Women and Infants Children [WIC] at 165 East Railroad in Vidor.

They also voted to rebuild and repair the Precinct 2 Office and Sheriff’s Substation in Mauriceville on the same footprint as the building lost to Harvey flooding.

“These are buildings that were damaged by the flooding,” Joel Ardoin, the county’s emergency management coordinator, said.

“We haven’t received the funds from FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] yet, but it’s a given. They replace infrastructure.”

The Vidor substation was located near the WIC office by Raymond Gould Park before the storm but Ardoin says there isn’t enough room to put it next to the new WIC office on Railroad.

He says moving the substation to FM 1442 “won’t make much of a difference as far as response time.”

Sheriff Keith Merritt says it is likely that county dispatchers will also be moved into the new building next to the Expo Center.

The Mauriceville office will be rebuilt at 11867 Highway 62.

The county has received two FEMA checks connected to Harvey, reimbursing $11.4 million Orange County paid for removal of storm debris.

In late February, it also received a check for $110,000 in FEMA funds from flooding damage in 2015.

Commissioners also approved the expenditure of $232,000 for the resurfacing and possible realignment of U.S. 90 Business, also known as the “Old Spanish Trail” west of the Vidor city limits. The county Road & Bridge department would do the construction.