Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

County sets free junk boat turn-in for April

Codie Vasquez and Halee Watkins from the regional CASA accepted a proclamation from Orange County Commissioners Court declaring April as Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month. The group for volunteers to help abused children go through the legal system during the process to separate them from abusive family, has its regional offices in Orange.

County sets free junk boat turn-in for April

Orange County's free vessel turn-in program to take in junked boats is set this year for April. County Judge John Gothia said the program helps keep them from being dumped in the waterways.

The program, sponsored by the Texas General Land Office, allows owners to turn in boats and trailers for proper disposal. The fuel, oil, and batteries are removed and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will verify the ownership to clear them.

The dates will be April 6, 9, 11, and 13 at the Citizen Collection Station off FM 1442 by the County Expo Center. The times will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Commissioners Tuesday officially set the times and dates during a court meeting. Precinct 1 Commissioner Johnny Trahan was absent because of recent surgery. John Gothia said the commissioner was doing well and had planned to attend, but had a follow-up doctor's appointment.

Mosquito Control Director Patrick Beebe got permission to spend more money to help in the effort to stop mosquitoes. He also warned that he may need more money because he has already spent 50 percent of his operating budget with six and half months left in the budget year. Those months include the summer, when the pests are usually worse.

Beebe said more spraying has had to be done this winter than is average.

The court approved him taking $10,500 from his contingency fund to go toward the price of a new pickup truck. Judge Gothia said the county was lucky to find one available. The pickup will replace one that is now 18 years old. The smaller pickup model is easier to use on narrow county roads in the dark where it is difficult to turn larger spray trucks around.

Beebe reported he has received the budgeted forklifts and lowboy trailer to transport them. The forklifts are used to move materials and barrels around at the county's hangar for the spray plane and at the center where the spray trucks are. The county airport will also have access to a forklift.

The vote for Beebe's request was unanimous and Judge Gothia joked "I don't think anyone wants to go on record being agains anything for mosquito control.

The court also approved the preliminary infrastructure development plan for the Orange Shadee Mobile Home Park. County Engineer Corey Oldbury said commissioners have already approved the plans for the adjacent park for recreational vehicles. The new part will be for rental spaces for manufactured homes.

The development is off Highway 62 south of Interstate 10. Oldbury said the Orange County Drainage District has given the okay for the drainage plans for both sections.

Oldbury also talked to commissioners about applying for the net Safe Streets and Roads grants available. He thinks the county could qualify for the program, which could pay 80 percent of fixing some of the county roads already targeted for repairs.

The court passed a resolution making April Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month. Codie Vasquez with the Sabine Neches Region CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocates, said Texas had 173 children die from abuse in 2023, with one in Orange County, and one in Hardin County, which is part of this region.

On April 18 at 6 p.m., 173 pinwheels will be placed on the courthouse lawn to represent each of the deaths. A special community vigil will also be held at that time.

CASA needs more adult volunteers to train for the program. Also, the group is having a fund-raising golf tournament on April 26th at Wildwood Golf Course in Village Mills. More information about volunteering or the tournament is available through 409-886-2272


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