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DRC opens in Orange

By Michael Cole

The Orange Leader

Tuesday’s Court session dove right into Imelda recovery updates from Orange County Emergency Management Coordinator Joel Ardoin and Maintenance Director Kurt Guidry.

Ardoin informed the court that the Disaster Recovery Center and the Business Recovery Center are open at the Expo center to aid in recovery efforts.

“The DRC  will be open 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., seven days a week,” said Ardoin. “The BRC will be open 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday thru Friday. regular business hours.”

BRC is the Business Recovery Center.

The Red Cross is also at the Expo Center and will continue to operate there until this Sunday, October 20.

According to Ardoin, as of Tuesday morning, Orange County Road and Bridge had collected 94 loads of debris amounting to about 752 cubic yards. TxDOT started collecting about 1 p.m. Monday and thus far collected about 1,400 cubic yards.

Ardoin recommended the County look at how debris disposal is handled should there not be a Presidential Disaster Declaration for public institutions. A declaration was made for private property but as of Tuesday, one has not been declared for public property. Until one is issued, the county itself is not eligible for federal funds.

“TxDOT is collecting the debris and depositing it at the old county dump. Without a declaration, the county will be responsible for reducing that waste and getting it to it’s final destination,” Ardoin said.

He also informed the court of the costs to the county without a declaration 

“We will have to remove the freon from refrigerators and remove the waste from them using HazMat, ” Ardoin said.

He recommended a contract with Waste Management for final disposal of the waste at $8.50 a cubic yard.

It was adopted pending review by the county attorney.

Maintenance Director Kurt Guidry talked to the court about the old transportation building and Raymond Gould Center on Claiborne Street in Vidor.

“We did receive some insurance money for these buildings,” Guidry said.

For the Raymond Gould Center, he suggested that they bring in the general contractor after the election. The center is being used as an election polling place on November 5, 2019.

Guidry also went over possible plans for the old WIC building in Vidor.

“We can gut the building of it’s walls and carpet giving, us about 900 square feet. That could be used as a polling place for future elections,” Guidry said. “This will help for when the Raymond Gould Center is booked during an election.”

The Orange Lions Club and Orange County are participating in a program that could bring over a dozen Pecan trees to Claiborne Park.

Michelle Tubbleville of Orange County Disaster Rebuild reminded the court and community of the upcoming Taste of the Holidays event at the expo center. 

“Tickets are $25 and went on sale just recently. This event was a huge success for local restaurants and residents,” Tubbleville said.

Taste of the Holidays is 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12 at the Orange County Convention and Expo Center. Restaurants and caterers will be putting their best dishes forward for one’s tasting.  Net proceeds from Taste of the Holidays will benefit Orange County Disaster Rebuild, a non-profit organization, that assists individuals and families who have unmet needs with recovery from Tropical Storms Harvey and Imelda.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 409-745-9719 or visit HERE