Breckenridge Texan

Stephens County Commissioners continue burn ban, approve purchase of new van

Stephens County Commissioners continue burn ban, approve purchase of new van
October 13
11:50 2022

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

When the Stephens County Commissioners met on Monday, Oct. 10, they voted to continue the burn ban, buy a passenger van, and took care of other county business.

The current burn ban was put in place on Sept. 26 and will remain effective for 90 days unless the commissioners vote to rescind the ban.

“I don’t think that we’ve had enough rain that we need to lift the burn ban,” Stephens County Fire Marshal Wayne Marshal. “As of (Sunday), our drought index was at 614.”

On Thursday morning, Oct. 13, the Keetch-Byram Drought Index, an index used to determining forest fire potential, for Stephens County ranged from 496 to 698, for an average of 605. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows most of Stephens County to be in “Severe Drought” with the southern portion of the county to be in “Extreme Drought.”

The local order bans all outdoor burning in unincorporated areas of the county except for activities related to public health and safety that are authorized by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality for (1) firefighter training; (2) public utility, natural gas pipeline or mining operations; or (3) planting or harvesting of agricultural crops; or, (4) burns that are conducted by a prescribed burn manager certified under Section 153.048, Natural Resources Code, and meet the standards of Section 153.047, Natural Resources Code.

The passenger van will be ordered for the county for a variety of uses, including for the AgriLife Extension Service, the Stephens County Jail and possibly as a courtesy vehicle at the airport.

Interlocal Agreement with the City of Breckenridge

The commissioners also approved the renewal of an interlocal agreement between Stephens County and the City of Breckenridge for fire protection and first response services for the fiscal year 2023.

“This is for our contribution to the City Fire Department, our stipend that we do and then our reimbursements where we do half those on maintenance stuff,” Roach said.

The County pays the City $4,166.67 per month, plus half of the maintenance expenses.

Other business

The commissioners discussed and approved the following items:

  • A resolution to apply for a grant from the Texas Indigent Defense Commission for reimbursement of a percentage of Stephens County’s expenses for court appointed attorneys.
  • The purchase of additional Christmas decorations for the courthouse from the Capital Credits Grant Fund.
  • The filing for record on the final plat of 533.16 acres that includes lots 1-24, block 1, of R&R Ranch, a subdivision of Stephens County.
  • A replat on tract 9 in the Walker Caldwell subdivision, provided by Owen Surveying.

The next Stephens County Commissioners meeting is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 24. When the agenda is available, it will be posted on the County website.


Cutline, top photo: Stephens County Judge Michael Roach, right, discusses county business on Oct. 10 with commissioners, from left Will Warren, Mark McCullough, David Fambro, and, not pictured, Eric O’Dell. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)



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