County Judge Brint Carlton has been coordinating the cleanup of debris from Harvey through Orange County. The company Ashbritt has been contracted by the county to perform cleanup just as it did following Hurricane Ike in 2008. Buddy Lofton with Ashbritt spoke to the Commissioners Court Tuesday afternoon. Lofton could not provide a timeline at the present when the debris will be removed.
Judge Carlton has been communicating with officials from FEMA to attempt to include municipalities in Orange County in the countywide cleanup of debris. After Hurricane Sandy FEMA changed its guidelines and regulations in 2014 for post-emergency cleanup. The judge said he has been working with FEMA to make sure the county is doing everything correctly so that the maximum reimbursement of local dollars whether from the county or the cities will be received.
“We’ve been waiting to get some answers from them. We’ve gotten a few of our questions answered and we’re waiting on one more big one, and once we have that done I think that will make it so everyone can move forward,” Carlton informed. A special meeting of the Commissioners Court has been called for Friday at 5:00 PM to possibly take action on including all parts of Orange County including the municipalities in the cleanup by Ashbritt.
The Commissioners Court met Tuesday afternoon in the Administration Building at the Courthouse complex for the first time since Tropical Storm Harvey struck Orange County. The agenda was rather routine with only eight items for consideration.
The Commissioners approved allowing Tina Barrow the Elections Administrator to keep a part-time employee through next summer to help her office handle several elections including the primaries for county judge and two commissioners’ races. The employee will work up to 29 hours a week at $8.76 an hour.
A request by Commissioner Jody Crump was approved to acquire pricing and availability of emergency communication radios for select essential personnel throughout the county. Crump said there was some communication difficulties during the onset of Harvey and these radios could help alleviate those problems in the future.