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By Dave Rogers
For the Record 

County taps HOT fund for fishing tourney 


Last updated 5/11/2021 at 9:43pm

Orange is set to host a couple hundred college bass fishing teams July 8-10 in the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Sabine River fishing tournament.

County Commissioners approved a $15,000 payment from the Hotel Occupancy Tax fund to pay the host fee.

The tournament, based at Orange Boat Ramp, is a last-chance qualifier for the Carhartt BASSmaster National Championship in August.

Jessica Hill, Executive Director of the Orange County Economic Development Corporation, said the event could bring from 100 to 250 two-person fishing teams to town, according to organizers.

“It’s a way for collegiate anglers to qualify for the Elite Series,” she said.

The Greater Orange Chamber of Commerce hosted the Bassmaster Elite tournament in April. It drew a record crowd of more than 40,000 for the three-day event, most for any Bassmaster Elite event, according to organizers.

The original ask Hill brought to commissioners was for $41,000.

Asked if the City of Orange’s HOT fund had been requested to participate, Leigh Anne Dallas, the city’s Event Manager, explained the city did not consider funding requests beyond its annual application period.

In the absence of County Judge John Gothia, Judge Pro-Tem Johnny Trahan helmed the 45-minute meeting.

Commissioners named Jennifer Haney, Orange County Social Services Caseworker to be Orange County Public Health Director.

Joel Ardoin, County Emergency Management Coordinator, said the county needed to establish its own Public Health Department and the first step was naming a Public Health Director.

“I think COVID definitely exposed the need for a Public Health Department,” Trahan said.

“For today, we’ll just add that to Jennifer’s title,” he said when Human Resources Director Lori Ardoin asked. “At budget time this summer, we’ll make changes” to salary, etc.

Commissioners approved $1.5 million in checks paid out, including $277,000 to Texas Association of Counties for a year’s worth of liability insurance and $103,000 to TAC for medical, dental and life insurance for county retirees under 65 for the month of May.

Coincidentally, TAC named Orange County one of only 11 counties in Texas to receive its Excellence in Safety Award for 2020.

The Sheriff’s Office was approved to spend Treasury Forfeiture Budget funds for $125,000 to purchase a van, a truck and an SUV to replace worn out vehicles and $4,300 for a finger print magnifier.


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