By Kathi Bliss
Caldwell County will remain under an outdoor burning ban throughout the holiday season, the Commissioners Court decided on Monday morning.
The outdoor burning ban, which the Commissioners have supported throughout much of this year, must continue to be in place for county law enforcement to uphold the ban on certain aerial fireworks that the Court passed last week.
The fireworks ban, originally requested by a number of the county’s volunteer fire department chiefs, makes it illegal to sell, buy or use “bottle rockets” and other aerial fireworks within Caldwell County. Such fireworks are often the cause of wildfires, particularly in rural and dry areas.
Despite recent rainfall, much of the county remains dangerously dry, according to Commissioner Charles Bullock. County Judge H.T. Wright and the other Commissioners agreed, and voted to keep the burn ban in place.
The commissioners heard a report from County Extension Agent Rachel Williams Bauer regarding the county’s agricultural production over the last year.
According to Bauer, the dry conditions that have plagued the county for much of this year are responsible for a decrease in agricultural income for most producers in the area, in some cases causing thousands of dollars in financial loss.
Wright reported that Caldwell County spent $11,682 on health care for the indigent during the month of November, bringing the total spending for indigent healthcare to just over $25,600 for the first months of the current fiscal year. Indigent health care services paid for by the county include physicians, prescriptions and hospital services, for indigent county residents and, in some cases, for inmates at the Caldwell County Jail.
In brief Court business:
As of Oct. 31, the county had collected $756,369 in current taxes, around 10 percent of the total tax levy for 2005.
The Commissioners appointed Gary Dickenson to represent Caldwell County on the Luling Foundation Farm Board of Directors.
The County paid bills in the amount of $245,312.95, including $11,945 for indigent legal defense. Over $145,000 of that total was paid by grant funds for road repairs.