(Orange, Texas)

Local News

February 18, 2013

Commissioners oppose state bill

ORANGE — The Orange County Commissioners Court is strongly opposing the passage of HB 958 which proposes to reduce the interest crediting rate on all Texas County and District Retirement System (TCDRS) funds from 7% to 5%.

The change would effect periods after December 31, 2013 if passed.

This Act takes effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2013.

The court issued a Resolution opposing the passage of the bill during the 10 am Monday meeting. The meeting was held at that time due to commissioners leaving to attend Continuing Commissioner Education classes.

Director of Emergency Management Jeff Kelley presented an option to the court for maintaining UTMB funding in the county.

“We had two options. We could go with Harris County and never see them,” Kelley said. “Or we could go with Hardin County who will send someone to Orange.”

Kelley said that Hardin County was willing to work with Orange County one-on-one and would work out of Kelley’s office three days a week.

The state refused assisting with the funding since the UTMB in Orange is not an official Health Department. The clinic provides services related to pregnancy and other areas of women’s health.

Kelley said the services the county wanted to continue providing.

The Veterans Service office is searching for a new Veterans Coordinator. A recent resignation opened the position.

Veterans Director Gene Smith has said in previous meetings that he would prefer to a veteran.

An opening that may become available later in the year, Assistant Services Officer, requires being a veteran. Filling that position now was passed by the court until the current officer officially resigns.

The bid for the System of Data/Telephone Cat 6 and Coax, Fiber Optic Cabling System has been awarded to Maverick Communications, Inc. There was only one bid submitted.

It will take 3-6 weeks for the cabling according to Mark Wimberly, maintenance director.

“There are no telephones or data until this can be done,” Wimberly said.

Orange County Commissioners Court will meet 2 p.m. Monday at 123 South Sixth Street in Orange.

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