It’s the final day of 2021. It has been a good year for Orange County compared to some recent ones.
County Judge John Gothia said it was a tight financial year for the county because of the expenses from 2020 caused by the recovery from Hurricane Laura. Even as the year moves towards 2022, Orange County is still waiting for its first reimbursement check from FEMA.
Through various grants the county was able to purchase and replace some equipment that was much needed to do infrastructure work. “We were well behind in equipment needs with stuff that was breaking down all the time, so we’ve been purchasing equipment,” Gothia indicated. A lot of major projects are underway which will continue in earnest with at least two grants hopefully after the first of next year.
Orange County has been a target for tropical storms in recent years, but avoided any direct hits in 2021. “The biggest thing I can say about this last year we pretty much other than the tornado and some close calls with the hurricanes we kind of made it through a year without having any major disasters within the county,” Gothia reminded. “We’re very blessed to not have that, our community has had enough of that, I hate it to go anywhere else, but I’m certainly glad they didn’t come here for our people and ourselves so that we get a chance to fully recover from these things because it takes a long time, and it takes a lot out of people, and that’s probably one of the biggest things for this last year I’m thankful for.”
The judge is already looking for progress to be made in the New Year. “There are some big expansion projects and new build projects within the county that we’re just waiting on some of these people to say they’re ready to make a move, so we’re excited about that. Really it’s just going to be a continuation of doing what we do to manage our county for the citizens, that’s our job to make sure we provide the protection that they need, provide good roads, good drainage, and we’ll continue to work on that since it never changes,” Gothia replied.
There will be no meeting of the Commissioners Court the last week of the year. The next meeting of the Court for Judge Gothia will be Tuesday, January 4, 2022.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-