Commissioners Met In Regular Session Tuesday
Inmates of the Orange County Jail are returning to the county after spending the months since Hurricane Laura being housed in the Henderson County Jail. Damage to the dormitory roof of the jail has been repaired, and the jail passed inspection last week allowing for the housing of the inmates there again after four months.
Chief Deputy Keith Reneau of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office informed the Commissioners Court Tuesday that the jail passed the state inspection last week, and the prisoners began returning this week. Housing the inmates in Henderson County cost Orange County over $382,000 just through November.
Phil Noland of the county’s Maintenance Department said work has moved from the jail to other county buildings. The roof on the Juvenile Probation Office is done as is the roof on the Commissioner Precinct 3 office at the Orange County Airport.
Noland indicated that consultant Dohn LaBiche will be at the next Commissioners Court meeting to discuss the repairs to the Orange County Courthouse. Damage from Laura will be addressed and the windows to be replaced.
The repairs and replacing the windows will be done simultaneously so as to reduce the number of days the offices in the Courthouse will need to be vacated. Insurance will cover the repair of the hurricane damage and a mitigation grant will be used to pay for replacing the windows.
The Commissioners Court promised to resume work on improvements to the county’s portion of the Old Spanish Trail in the west end of the county. Funding was approved and work began three years ago, but Hurricane Harvey seriously delayed progress on that project.
The road is a vital artery for commercial traffic in the west end of the county and school buses in the Vidor area. Vidor City Manager Robbie Hood voiced his support to the Commissioners Court Tuesday for completion of the project.
County Judge John Gothia explained the need for moving the road some 50 feet from a sand pit that retains water and is a hazard to all traffic especially school buses. A land owner has donated some of his property to accommodate the moving of the road to keep it the necessary distance from the lake.
During County Engineer Clark Slacum’s monthly report the Commissioners approved purchasing repairs to a maintainer used for road repairs. The cost will be $33,170.
The Court approved purchasing new leather chairs for all five of its members. The chairs are produced by the state prison system. The cost is $705 per chair.
The Sheriff’s Office has purchased a new Lenco Bearcat armored vehicle for its SWAT team. Chief Deputy Reneau stipulated that the purchase was made under a General Services Administration contract and there was no need for approval from the Commissioners Court.
Human Resource Director Lori Ardoin and Assistant County Attorney Denise Gremillion presented an Administrative Services Agreement with Ameriflex for an insurance Cafeteria Plan for county employees. The Court approved the recommendation of Ardoin and Gremillion.
The plans for the Twin Lakes Phase II subdivision was approved by the Commissioners. The housing development is in the Orangefield area and has 20 lots with 15 of those to be used for new homes.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-