County lifts outdoor burn ban
By LPR Staff
Recent rains, with the promise of more wet weather to come, have prompted the Caldwell County Commissioners Court to end the outdoor burning ban and Order of Emergency the county has been under since December.
“There have not been any fires of consequence in about a week,” said Emergency Management Coordinator Jim Parker
. “There are still winds of 15 to 20 miles per hour, but the humidity is high throughout the county.”
County Fire Marshal Jeff Wright noted that most of the large fires throughout the county have been started right after rainy weather, but agreed that the ban could be lifted.
In recent weeks, the Commissioners have received request from local agribusinessmen who need to clear and burn brush for spring planting. Those requests, and a desire not to hinder local business, was a driving force behind temporarily lifting the ban.
“[We will] let the farmers burn right now, with the understanding that if anything goes wrong, we”ll put [the burn ban] right back on.”
Although the ban has been lifted, officials still urge extreme caution when burning outdoors. Despite damp conditions, the county remains in a drought, according to the National Weather Service, and brush fires could still spread without warning.
In other Court business, the Commissioners heard information regarding county tax collection for the month of January.
The Caldwell County Appraisal District collected just over $3 million in taxes last month, bringing the total 2005 tax collected to just over $6.4 million. In addition, the appraisal district collected over $50,000 in delinquent taxes.
In brief court news:
The Court heard information from the County Treasurer, the County Clerk and the District Clerk regarding jury reimbursement. After some discussion about who is responsible for jury reimbursement forms, the panel asked county auditor Sonny Rougeou to compile information and present a possible solution at a later date.
The Commissioners tabled discussion regarding a state-funded grant for Rad-Tec Enterprises. The company, which approached the Court last month with plans to relocate to Caldwell County, is not ready to submit the grant application to the state. The subject might not return to the Commissioners Court agenda until June.
The county paid bills in the amount of $191,227.45, including $28,068.96 in indigent legal defense.
The Caldwell County Commissioners meet at 9 a.m. on the second, third and fourth Monday of each month in Room 100 of the Caldwell County Courthouse.