Tuesday at the weekly Commissioners Court meeting, Valli Lott the retiring director of the Transportation Department in the county was thanked for her two decades of service to Orange County. Lott, standing in front of Commissioner Barry Burton, Judge Brint Carlton and Commissioner Jody Crump, was presented a plaque, and she wants to work around her home doing some painting and sewing during retirement. Her replacement is Janell Leger-Dischler.
Two days before the closing of the emergency room at Baptist Hospital in Orange, the Commissioners Court approved a contract Tuesday for emergency care of inmates at the Orange County Jail. Golden Triangle Emergency Center was awarded the contract and will charge the county for treating the inmates at a Medicaid rate which is comparable to what Baptist Hospital has charged Orange County over the years.
Commissioner Jody Crump questioned Assistant County Attorney Doug Manning whether the contract could be amended to include medical services for county employees. Manning said it would be helpful to consider such an amendment that could cover county employees that are involved in auto accidents since current county policy requires a urine analysis and so forth for employees involved in such situations. No further action was taken during the meeting, but an amendment could be considered at a future meeting.
There was an issue expressed by the Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy John Tarver about persons who are arrested, but are not booked into the county jail because of medical reasons. The person arrested will need to receive a release from the medical facility that would clear the arresting agency to then book the suspect into the Orange County Jail. Tarver indicated easily a hundred persons or so every year are arrested and have been refused admittance to the county jail. The situations normally involve driving-while-intoxicated arrests.
The Sheriff’s Office was authorized to submit the application to the Governor’s Office for a Criminal Justice Grant to fund the purchase of body worn cameras for its personnel. Deputy Dennis Marlow said the match is probably going to be 80 to 20, but may revert back to the original 75 to 25 percent match with the Sheriff’s Office paying the lower percent if it receives the grant.
The Commissioners approved extending the contract with Ashbritt to December 31, 2017 at the recommendation of Emergency Management Coordinator Charlie Cox. Ashbritt provides assistance in emergency situations by providing supplies and post disaster clean up.