The Orange County Commissioners Court heard updates Tuesday concerning recovery from past disasters. The Commissioners approved an agreement to be prepared if another natural disaster hits Orange County this year.
Henderson County housed inmates from the Orange County Jail in the months following Hurricane Laura in 2020 because of damage to the roof of the dormitory at the Orange County Jail. The approved agreement Tuesday was with Burnett County to house inmates from Orange County if necessary.
Jail Captain Jim Eiselstein has been working to get additional options to house inmates if there is a storm that prevents the use of the Orange County Jail. The agreement is for the remainder of this year.
Work to repair damage from Laura to hangars and other buildings at the Orange County Airport continues according to Maintenance Director Kurt Guidry. Next will be the Sheriff’s Office boat shed and then work will shift to the interior of the Courthouse building.
Guidry informed the Commissioners Court that he is getting insurance claims revised for several damaged items that were missed by adjusters during their first visit. The county is still waiting on reimbursements from FEMA for recovery expenses with Laura.
Judge Troy Johnson with the County Court at Law #2 requested replacement of audio equipment for his courtroom. Johnson believes the equipment was damaged by Hurricane Laura, but only recently tested the items since there were no trials because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Guidry indicated he would contact insurance to see if a claim would be feasible this late. The cost to replace the audio equipment was estimated at $6,497 by Judge Johnson.
The Court discussed whether to repair or replace the AMX system in the Emergency Operation Center. The cost to repair it would be $17,400 with Integrated Technology Solutions.
County Judge John Gothia suggested the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) might provide funds to replace the whole system. Emergency Management Coordinator Joel Ardoin said he would check to see if ARPA would cover the purchase of a new AMX system.
The Sheriff’s Office and the State of Texas had their working agreement renewed by the Court. A contract with C&L Remodeling was approved pending the company being on the state’s Buy Board list to install a carport type covering for large Sheriff’s vehicles at a cost of $15,000. The purchase of a 20-foot, non-enclosed trailer for the Sheriff’s Office was approved. The cost of the trailer is $6,906 and will be paid from treasury Forfeiture Budget account.
Sheriff Lane Mooney was authorized to sign the contract with Five Star Correctional Services for food service at the Orange County Jail. Previous authorization was given to the county judge or the judge pro tem to sign.
Completed in May was the repainting of the main parking lot at the Courthouse by the Maintenance Department. Guidry said he purchased 20 gallons of paint to restripe the parking spaces and redo the directional arrows.
Purchasing Agent Tim Funchess announced at the beginning of the meeting that all but two lots were sold in the recent county auction of surplus items. The auction generated $212,549 which after the commission for Renee Bates Auctioneers netted $196,608 for the county.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-