Repairs to the marble façade on the Orange County Courthouse should be almost completely covered by grant funds. The Commissioners Court held a workshop Tuesday morning with the Texas Historical Commission and HDR which has been the county’s architect advisory firm concerning renovations to the historic courthouse.
The workshop led to action taken by the Commissioners Court during its regular meeting later Tuesday afternoon. Commissioner Barry Burton said the Court approved amending the contract with Way Services and transferring $50,000 that was to be used for energy conservation which could not be done because the county’s generators did not qualify to a facility improvement measure which would include the restoration of the marble façade.
The transfer will go with a fund that already includes $125,000 ticketed for restoration of the courthouse. With $175,000 the county would just about meet its 50 percent requirement for a matching grant from the Texas Historical Commission to pay for the repairs to the courthouse. Burton predicts, “It would be very close to a budget neutral transaction for us and no transfers may have to be done.”
Burton believes that work on the marble front of the courthouse could start shortly. He speculated it might be completed within six months.
The Commissioners Court followed the recommendation of Emergency Management Coordinator Joel Ardoin and established August 1 as the final day that citizens will be allowed to put tear out storm debris from their residences for pickup by the county. Citizens will also need to call the hotline, 745-9809, to inform the county that the debris has been stacked for pickup. Only storm damage debris will be accepted, no new construction debris will be picked up. August 25 was set earlier by FEMA as the final day it will reimburse entities like the county for collecting storm debris.
Ardoin mentioned that the scheduled buy-out hearing for Orange County has been rescheduled to July 24. The hearing that evening will cover both the state’s and the federal buy-out programs. The hearing will be at 6:00 PM on July 24 at the Orange County Convention and Expo Center located on FM 1442.
The Commissioners authorized Airport Supervisor Missy Pillsbury to apply and pay the required fees to the Texas Department of Agriculture for a device certificate required for the meters on the fuel tanks at the Orange County Airport. The certificate is required to sell fuel at the airport now that the county has assumed the operation of the facility.
Several items were approved by the Court to be purchased for the Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 office. Items approved included new printers, supplies, and Dell computers. The Commissioners tabled at the recommendation of County Auditor Pennee Schmitt approving the purchase of certain office supplies and security camera equipment until Judge Derry Dunn could be present. Dunn was out-of-town on a doctor’s appointment.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-