KOCB receives support from Commissioners Court

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 6, 2019

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


Keep Orange County Beautiful (KOCB) requested an endorsement from Orange County Commissioners Court and a show of support for its annual Trash Off and Tire Disposal Drive on March 2.

“Our group is unique in two ways,” Chairman Deborah Bednar said. “First, our by-laws show no membership but we do have a Board of Directors. The good part is these people are very passionate about recycling, litters ordinances and the enforcement of the ordinances and beautification, both business and residential. We cast a wide net. Second, we seek opportunities for resources around these activities.”

KOCB is part of Keep Texas Beautiful.

“Keep Texas Beautiful supplies trash bags and gloves for our trash offs,” Bednar said.

During the March 2 Trash off and Tire Disposal, the group is coordinating with a local boat club to help clean up tires and trash along the waterways.

KOCB requested a $500 contribution to SETexas Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) to help defer the organizations administrative costs.

RC&D receives funds from the enforcement actions to solve many environmental across the state. The funding is through an agreement with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

Orange is one of 16 counties in the Southeast Texas RC&D which also includes the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation.

Commissioner Johnny Trahan asked if the organization had considered pairing up with the SouthEast Texas Regional Planning Commission.

“SouthEast Texas Regional Planning Commission also receives funding from the RC&D,” former KOCB Chairman JDavid Derosier said. “When plants are found wrong, and fined the money goes to the RC&D for special environment projects. RC&D is a vehicle for those funds.”

Derosier added the contribution helps give the organization a better chance to receive the funding.

“The money is there and often not used,” Derosier said.

Commsisioner Theresa Beauchamp commented on people littering as well as dropping off dogs and cats.

“We can tell who is having sales that week by the number of Whataburger or Burger King bags we see,” Beauchamp said.

Deborah Bednar said litter abatement and enforcing the laws was a big issue with the organization.

“We all use to have litter bags in our cars,” Beauchamp said. “There is stuff on the highway for three months at least and it just spreads.

The Tire Clean up is set to start at the City of Orange Boat Ramp on March 2 with groups heading out in both directions along the waterway.

“We will go all over Orange County from there,” Bednar said.

“If you can’t be there, clean up your own block,” Beauchamp said.

Trahan added, “Litter is an epidemic in Orange County.”

The funding from RC&D will help with the funds needed for disposing of the tires. Superior Tires in Orange has agreed to help dispose of the tires, according to Bednar.