County reinstates outdoor burn ban
The Caldwell County Commissioners decided Monday to make Caldwell County one of the few in Central Texas subject to an outdoor burning ban.
The unanimous decision came after County Fire Marshal Jeff Wright told the panel several volunteer fire departments have had trouble manning their departments during the day.
“I was almost ready to suggest that you go ahead
and leave it off,” Wright said. “We”ve only had a couple of fires, and the Texas Forest Service says that we”re still in good shape. But the few fires we”ve had, we”ve had trouble finding the volunteers during the day to come out and fight them.”
Wright attributes the manpower problems to the fact that so many volunteers have to work daytime jobs, often out of town.
“I”m not saying that anyone is to blame, and everyone is doing a good job with what they have,” he said. “But we”re just getting fewer volunteers, and the ones we”re getting have to work during the day.”
Commissioner Joe Roland, who moved to reinstate the burn ban, noted that he had warned many of his constituents the ban would likely be imposed beginning this week.
“We”re still dry,” Roland said. “And the weather says that we”re supposed to get a front this weekend that is going to bring a lot of wind with it.”
Some weather forecasts call for rain near the end of this week. The Commissioners agreed that County Judge H.T. Wright could lift the ban in the event of sufficient rainfall.
While the county is under the ban, anyone burning materials outdoors, except in approved receptacles, could be subject to receiving a citation for a Class C Misdemeanor, accompanied by a fine up to $500.
In other business, the county”s election coordinator, Mary Vicky Gonzales presented the Court with the results of a ballot recount requested in the race for County Commissioner, Precinct 2. According to Gonzales, the recount proved that the original election totals were correct, with incumbent Charles Bullock receiving 1018 votes, narrowly defeating challenger Milton Shaw, who received 989.
Precinct Three Commissioner Neto Madrigal presented information to the Court regarding the purchase of new fleet vehicles for the Caldwell County Constables.
Madrigal said he had researched vehicles from several manufacturers, and thought that either the Chevrolet Impala or the Dodge Charger would be the best choice for the vehicles, with regard to economy and features. According to the figures he presented, the purchase of the new vehicles will be between $18,500 and $20,000 per vehicle, depending upon which vehicles are chosen.
“I”d like to table this, though, to talk to the constables and their deputies to see what they think about the vehicles,” he said. Commissioner Tom Bonn agreed to table the purchase, with the caveat that Madrigal also determine where the nearest factory mechanic service for vehicle maintenance is located.
In brief Court news:
The Commissioners approved a request by County Extension Agent Rachel Bauer to reappoint Gary Dickenson to the Luling Foundation Farm Board of Directors.
They authorized the submission of a grant application for the Victim Assistance Program to the Office of the Attorney General.
They discussed the removal of recyclable metals from a county-owned gravel pit. Although the removal was advertised locally for bids, no salvage company submitted a bid proposal.
The County paid bills in the amount of $182,019.30, which includes $10,956 in indigent health care.
The Caldwell County Commissioners meet on the second, third and fourth Monday of each month at 9 a.m. in Room 100 of the Caldwell County Courthouse. Interested citizens are invited and encouraged to attend and participate in the meetings.