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Burn ban remains on, rain chances continue

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From staff reports

Outdoor burning in unincorporated areas of Caldwell County will remain prohibited for at least another two weeks, following action taken this week in Caldwell County Commissioners Court.
Commissioners voted unanimously to leave the burn ban on for another two weeks following recommendations by Hector Rangel, chief emergency management coordinator for Caldwell County Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
“Even though we have had quite a few days of rain, the grass is still really, really dry,” Rangel said on Monday. “We had a fire yesterday where the grass was dry, they were baling hay and the grass caught fire … approximately two acres outside Lockhart.
“Hopefully, we’ll get some rain in the next couple of weeks. We had about ¾ of an inch around Lockhart, but I recommend we keep (the ban) on another two weeks.”
At press time, the National Weather Service was predicting a 42 percent chance of rain on Wednesday, a 72 percent chance on Thursday and a 24 percent chance on Friday, diminishing chances Saturday-Monday, with chances of rain beginning to increase on Tuesday.
Outdoor burning during a burn ban is a Class C Misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $500.
In other action, Caldwell County Commissioners approved a budget amendment to accept a charitable donation raised by private citizens that will pay for the relocation of the confederate monument.
A check for the $29,600 needed to move the monument from the Caldwell County Courthouse lawn to the Caldwell County Museum was submitted to the Caldwell County treasurer on Sept. 27, but commissioners needed to formally approve a budget amendment in court to allow the county to accept the donation and use the funding.
The Caldwell County Commissioners voted to initialize the process of moving the monument to the Caldwell County Jail Museum in Lockhart more than a year ago after a nine-person committee said they supported its removal and recommended the construction of a different monument memorializing the men and women who came to Lockhart via the Chisholm Trail.
The citizens who wanted the monument placed in 1923 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy were required to raise the money necessary to relocate it.
The grassroots effort to raise the money was ultimately successful, raising the funds necessary to move forward with contracting HCS Inc., which will handle the extrication, relocation and re-stabilization of the monument at the museum.
With the funding formally approved, work should begin pretty soon and be completed quickly, Caldwell County Judge Hoppy Haden said, noting that the company had been contacted to get started with constructing the foundation at the museum prior to moving it to its new home.
Approximately 280 individual donors gave to the cause, with most donations ranging from $50-100.

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