Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

New RV park rules for county delayed

Orange County Commissioners Court Tuesday was set to hear a report on the needs for setting rules and standards for RV park developments, but new state rules made the court delay.

County Engineer Corey Oldbury said he was set to give his findings and suggestions, but Assistant County Attorney Denise Gremillion said she still needed to study recent state laws on what the county can do.

The issue is important to the county because of the influx of construction workers to the area for the many building projects, including the $8.5 billion Golden Triangle Polymers plant. Many construction workers buy RVs with their per diem expenses pay and bring them from job to job. Others find renting an RV in a park less expensive than long-term hotel rates or local apartments.

County Judge John Gothia said he needs to find out which parts of proposed legislation on RV parks passed in the recent session of the Texas Legislature, which ended May 29 with hundreds of new bills passed and hundreds others failing or left behind without a full vote.

One of the proposals during the session was to make all RV parks in the state follow national requirements, rather than having each county set their own rules.

In other business, the court approved spending $30,000 a year for a new software system for the Orange County District Attorney's Office. Assistant District Attorney Krispen Walker said the new system will allow the office to upload and download evidence quicker and easier.

The system is iCrimeFighter and is being used in Jasper County. Judge Gothia said MIS Director Lisa Reeves studied the system and checked with other counties using it.

Walker said a 2014 state law requires prosecutors to share all evidence in criminal cases with defense attorneys. The law was passed after an innocent man was freed from prison years after being convicted of murder. A judge determined the prosecutor in that case with held evidence that would have helped the man show his innocence.

Walker said more and more evidence is coming from surveillance cameras and body cameras on law enforcement officers. Under the current system in Orange, police departments have to burn a disc and then upload it into the computer system. Many times problems in the system's load make transmitting videos difficult.

With the new system, the videos can be transferred easily directly online. Walker said some police departments may get the same system and officers will be able to submit all the case interviews and evidence directly to the DA's office.

The court also approved a budget transfer of $79,000 from the contingency fund of the Risk Management Department. The transfer will allow the county to pay a premium increase of $92,500 for property insurance. County Auditor Pennee Schmidt said the insurance has increased 55 percent.


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