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County continues burn ban, considers firework ban

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

Although this week’s winter weather brought some precipitation and forecasts predict more may be on the way, the Caldwell County Commissioners have continued to favor caution over pressure from some members of the community.

The Court voted on Monday to continue the long-standing outdoor burn ban, after being advised

by Caldwell County Emergency Management Coordinator Jim Parker that conditions are still “dangerous.”

During the discussion, Caldwell County Judge H.T. Wright made mention of a McNeil-area resident who had expressed a need to burn. That resident was encouraged to contact the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and the matter is currently being reviewed by one of the state’s 16 certified “Burn Masters.”

Though Parker said TCEQ was likely to honor the county’s ban, Wright voiced concern that, should the burning be approved, other county residents might see the burn and think the ban had been lifted, thereby exposing county residents and property to danger.

As winter winds and dry conditions continue, residents of Caldwell County are reminded that outdoor burning, even burning trash in approved receptacles and lighting of barbecue pits, is extremely dangerous, particularly on windy days. Anyone choosing to burn should take any and all steps necessary to protect themselves, their property and their neighbors.

In a related item, the Court opened discussion regarding a ban on fireworks during the 2008 – 2009 holiday season.

Often in recent years, Caldwell County has imposed restrictions on certain aerial fireworks during the holiday season, in an effort to lessen the danger of wildfires in Caldwell County.

Precinct One Commissioner Tom Bonn noted that in some Central Texas counties, fireworks vendors have been petitioning elected officials to allow fireworks, sometimes offering cash incentives to enhance support of those petitions and encourage voters to contact their elected officials to voice that support. However no such activity was reported in Caldwell County.

Because the Court has until Dec. 15 to vote on a measure banning fireworks over the holidays, the Commissioners voted to table the motion until their next regular meeting, which will be held on Monday, Dec. 15.

In brief news:
Maintenance supervisor Curtis Weber delivered a report on his department’s activities over the last month, including the renovation of the new Justice Precinct 3 building in Maxwell. Weber said the renovations have cost approximately $10,000 so far, which includes a new roof and an electrician’s review of the property, which Caldwell County will lease for space for the Justice Mary Alice Llanas’s courtroom and office space.

They discussed the appointments of Lucy Knight and Melvin Bain to the Plum Creek Conservation District Board. Both are currently serving, but the Court agreed to table reappointing the pair until additional nominations for the two positions could be reviewed.

The County paid bills in the amount of $600,012.23, which includes a payment for health care at the Caldwell County Jail.

A Niederwald-area resident approached the Court to question enforcement of deed restrictions in her subdivision, and the possibility of a leash law to be passed in the county.

The Caldwell County Commissioners meet on the second, third and fourth Monday of each month at 9 a.m. in Room 100 of the Caldwell County Courthouse.

Additional information provided by Karen McCrary, Luling Newsboy & Signal

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