Commissioners lift burn ban
Houston County Courier - January 2008
Houston County is no longer under a “Burn Ban,” but county officials are urging residents who find it necessary to do outdoor burning to exercise extreme caution.
A temporary ban on outdoor burning was issued on Friday, Jan. 11 by Houston County Judge Lonnie Hunt on the recommendation of Houston County Fire Marshal David Lamb.
That order expired on Friday, Jan. 18.
The matter was on the agenda for the Tuesday, Jan. 22 meeting of the Houston County Commissioners Court.
Lamb told commissioners that the fire danger is not at high now because of recent rainfall.
However, he cautioned that it doesn’t take long for vegetation to dry out, especially when the wind blows out of the north.
The commissioners court took no action, which means the burn ban is not in effect at this time.
The commissioners court welcomed a new county extension agent.
Dr. Ramona Kellum, district extension administrator, recommended Mandy Patrick to fill the position of county agent for Family and Consumer Science, and commissioners approved the recommendation.
Mrs. Patrick, who lives in the Austonio area, holds a bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin University, and is currently enrolled in graduate school at SFA. She is employed as a Child Protective Services caseworker with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. She will begin her new duties as Houston County extension agent on March 1.
The commissioners court approved an order establishing a local fee for businesses who hold certain alcoholic beverage permits in Houston County.
The law authorizes counties to collect a fee equal to one-half of the state fee for certain permit holders. A store that holds a permit to sell beer and wine will pay a fee of $30 to Houston County each year.
“This will only generate a small amount of revenue for the county,” Judge Hunt stated. “But we are already processing the paperwork and collecting the fees for the state, so at least this will help us offset our cost.”
The court voted to award a contract for purchase and installation of five new emergency generators for Consolidated Water Supply Corporation to Duplichain Contractors of Alto.
Duplichain submitted the low bid of $173,408.86. This project is being funded by a Texas Community Development Project grant, which the county applied for on behalf of Consolidated Water Supply Corporation.
The generators will be installed at Consolidated Water Supply plants on Hwy. 21 East, Hwy. 7 West, the Liberty Hill Community and the Tadmor Community.
Commissioners spent more than two hours Tuesday afternoon in a workshop session reviewing Houston County’s subdivision regulations.
The workshop was led by Jim Allison, an attorney with the firm of Allison and Bass of Austin. Allison told the Court that Houston County’s subdivision regulations, which were adopted in 2002, were in pretty good shape, but he did suggest several updates. He also recommended that the county adopt regulations for manufactured home rental communities and RV parks.
Judge Hunt said the court may hold a public hearing on the regulations for manufactured home rental communities at its next meeting. And Allison will get back to the court with some suggested revisions in the subdivision regulations.
In other action Tuesday, commissioners approved expenditures totaling $4,451.01 from the county clerk’s records management fund to pay for six new computer workstations and related electrical work in the County Clerk’s office; received as information an order from the Board of District Judges appointing Louis Cook to a new two-year term as Houston County Auditor; approved a resolution authorizing the district attorney’s office to apply for a continuation of the R.E.S.P.O.N.D. grant which funds the crime victims coordinator for the DA’s office; approved a bid to purchase a new 2008 pickup for the sheriff’s office from Cutshaw Chevrolet with a lease purchase through Citizens National Bank. The sales price is $24,750 and the total amount of financing which also includes additional police equipment is $26,338; received as information a report from Precinct 2 Commissioner Willie Kitchen on the sale of a used backhoe. Commissioner Kitchen stated that he had been offered $20,000 for a trade-in. However, the backhoe sold online through the Auctioneer Express website for $34,300; approved an agreement with Windstream Communications to purchase a new telephone system for the adult probation office at a cost of $3,827.41.