Breckenridge Texan

County Commissioners keep burn ban off, approve Hazard Mitigation Plan

County Commissioners keep burn ban off, approve Hazard Mitigation Plan
January 16
10:03 2020

When Stephens County commissioners met on Monday, they chose to leave the county-wide burn off, voted to adopt a Hazard Mitigation Plan and honored a long-time local postal worker who is retiring.

Burn Ban

Commissioners took no action on reinstating the burn ban, following a recommendation by Breckenridge Fire Chief Calvin Chaney, who is also the Stephens County Fire Marshal. The ban had already been lifted by County Judge Michael Roach on Saturday, Jan 11, following the snowfall in the area, and Chaney said that, because of the recent snow and with more rain forecast for the area later in the week, he would recommend they leave the ban off.

He told commissioners that since the ban had been lifted on Saturday, they had already had 55 people burn brush. Commissioners are scheduled to decide at their next meeting on Jan. 27 whether to keep the ban off.

However, commissioners can hold an emergency meeting before their next scheduled on meeting to put the burn ban back in place if they determine conditions are too dry for safe burning.

Hazard Mitigation Plan  

Commissioners also heard a presentation by Jay Hardaway from the West Central Texas Council of Governments on a Hazard Mitigation Plan for the area that includes Stephens County. Following the discussion, commissioners passed a resolution to adopt the plan.

The plan is required for the county to receive federal disaster funding. The Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) require communities to adopt a hazard mitigation plant to be eligible for the full range of pre-disaster and post-disaster federal funding for mitigation purposes. FEMA also requires the communities to update their plan every five years, which is what commissioners approved on Monday.

The WCTCOG developed the part of the plan that covers Stephens County in conjunction with the county after assessing the community’s potential risks and hazards and to create strategies and actions for reducing the long-term consequences of natural and man-caused hazards.

Roach said the plan covers many communities in the area, but there are some things covered in the plan that are unique to Stephens County, like Hubbard Creek Lake. Hardaway told commissioners there is no cost involved for Stephens County for approving the plan.

Proclamation honoring Ron White

Ron White, pictured with his wife, Donna, was honored by the County Commissioners for his 35 years of service with the U.S. Postal Service. (Courtesy Photo)

Commissioners also presented retiring United States Postal employee Ron White with a proclamation honoring his 35 years of dedicated service with the U.S. Postal Service, much of which was spent in the local area.

In the proclamation, commissioners wrote, “On numerous occasions, local residents voted Ron White as their favorite postal employee. We recognize his valuable contribution to our community, and we wish him all the best in his retirement and we thank him for a job well done.”

Other business

In other business, commissioners voted to authorize Ranger Gas to bore under County Road 134 in Precinct 1 to install a pipeline.

They also approved a contract between the Southern Health Partners and the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office to continue providing health services for the inmates in the Stephens County Jail. Additionally, commissioners approved a request by Stephens County Sheriff Will Holt for the Sheriff’s Office to keep a $365 check received from Law Enforcement Magnets.

Commissioners filed for record a Certificate of Completion by County District Clerks’ Association of Texas for Christie Coapland, Stephens County District Clerk. They also acknowledged and filed for record a  CNA Surety bond for Kristi Strawbridge, Deputy County Clerk for Stephens County.

Commissioners also acknowledged and filed for record CNA surety bonds for Christie Latham, for Tax Collector Assessor for Stephens County, Stephens County Hospital District, Breckenridge Independent School District and the City of Breckenridge.

They also reviewed and accepted corrections for the Stephens County Treasurer’s report for October 2019 and accepted the Stephens County Treasurer’s report for November 2019 and the Treasurer’s Expenditure Report for January 10, 2020.

Story by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan

Cutline, top photo: Jay Hardaway from the West Central Texas Council gives a presentation on the Hazard Mitigation Plan for Stephens County during the County Commissioners meeting on Monday. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

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