Caldwell County’s burn ban remains off despite Hays County’s reinstatement


By Miles Smith



The burn ban for Caldwell County was still off after Monday’s Commissioners Court meeting.

But, with nearby counties reinstating their burn bans, Caldwell County Emergency Management Director Martin Richey said conditions indicated the ban might not be far from returning.

“Vegetation conditions and soil moisture have definitely deteriorated with last week’s freeze,” Ritchey said. “We’re getting close to the day when we’ll have to put the burn ban back.”

Neighboring Hays County reinstated its ban at its Jan. 16 meeting, citing low ground and fuel moisture numbers and increasing instances of brush fires, the majority of which Hays County said were due to unsupervised brush and materials.

Ritchey said there had been more brush fires in Caldwell County lately, but didn’t see enough reason to reinstate the ban just yet.

“We’ve seen some minor fires, but nothing to the point where it’s any major concern,” Ritchey said. “If you burn, do it carefully.”


Public nuisance law decision tabled

Commissioners discussed adopting procedures for abatement of public nuisances before Caldwell County Judge Ken Schawe decided to table the matter for further discussion at another meeting.

Without an order, the county doesn’t have the option to go into the courtroom to get nuisances abated. But the order would specify rules and regulations for Caldwell County residents to adhere to on issues ranging from trash and junk car storage to hazardous/structurally unsafe buildings on their properties.

The order could include stricter guidelines for subdivisions and properties within 300 feet of subdivisions, and rules that would apply to all unincorporated areas of Caldwell County.

Specifically, trash and junk car regulations could apply to subdivisions and properties near subdivisions, while something like prohibition of unsafe structures/buildings on a property could include all unincorporated areas of the county.

Jerry West, chairman of Lockhart’s construction board, said commissioners and the county judge were invited to a meeting to witness how his board handles public nuisances.

“Eighty-five percent of the work we do for the city is dealing with unsafe structures,” West said.


Wright steps up for County Christian Ministries

The Caldwell County Christian Ministries on Monday sought a donation of up to $3,044.66 from the county to help fund its emergency food pantry.

Representatives from the ministries told commissioners that the pantry serves mainly working families who sometimes find themselves in tight cash flow situations but also helps out residents during natural disasters.

“It’s been the organization of last resort that has helped emergency management,” Ritchey said. “It helped people during Hurricane Harvey.”

After the court made and seconded a motion to donate $2,000 to the CCCM, Commissioner Terry Wright spoke up.

“If it’s appropriate, I’d like to make up the difference,” Wright said amid applause. “That should get it up to $3,044.36.”

The motion to donate $2,000 was passed unanimously.








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