Commissioners eye participation in Wildfire Protection plan
By LPR Staff
As spring begins, Caldwell County Commissioners have already turned their eyes forward toward the dangers summer brings to Central Texas. The gravest danger, in the eyes of many, is the potential of wildfires.
Working in connection with the Texas Forest Service, the Commissioners Court, back under the leadership of Cou
nty Judge H.T. Wright, who has returned to work after a hospitalization earlier this year, has begun participation in a county-wide Wildfire Protection Plan. As explained by Caldwell County Emergency Management Coordinator Jim Parker, much of the plan will focus on education and information, rather than rule of law, as a means of fire prevention.
Parker said talks are only just now beginning, and the cooperative process to develop a Wildfire Protection Plan could take up to two years. Upon completion, the plan will offer not only detailed information about specific risks, but a potential plan to help decrease fire danger.
According to a written statement Parker presented to the Commissioners, some of the key actions which might be included in the plan include homeowner education regarding vegetation and landscaping, improvements to first-responder equipment, fuel mitigation activities in priority neighborhoods based upon risk assessment, and the improvement of fire department training and capabilities.
Although Wright expressed concern that Caldwell County is limited in its power, in both in writing ordinances and offering financial support to the volunteer fire departments, he and the Commissioners acknowledged good that could come from such a program.
Wright said at this juncture, the program would not have any costs attached – he suggested it as more of a “round table talking group.”
Precinct One Commissioner John Cyrier reminded the court of a recent decision to purchase and install signs notifying residents about the county’s burn ban status, and suggested that might fit nicely into a Wildfire Protection Plan.
Precinct Four Commissioner Joe Roland volunteered to participate in the committee, and Cyrier offered his services, as well.
In other business:
The Commissioners approved an agreement with a local contractor to replace the air conditioning unit that services the Caldwell County Adult Probation Office. The unit, according to Maintenance Supervisor Curtis Weber, has been malfunctioning for some time, and was earmarked for replacement this year.
They agreed to a settlement of $8,000 in connection with an eminent domain lawsuit. Other details of the suit were previously discussed with County legal representatives during an executive session.
The County paid bills in the amount of $114,963.12.
The Caldwell County Commissioners Court meets on the second, third and fourth Monday of each month at 9 a.m. in Room 100 of the Caldwell County Courthouse.