Athens Review, Athens, Texas

July 9, 2013

County votes to enact burn ban

After havoc of July 4, Commissioners vote to impose 2-week provision

Kathi Nailling
The Athens Review

ATHENS — The Henderson County Commissioners Court voted on Tuesday to impose a 2-week burn ban throughout Henderson County.

Over the Fourth of July the county fought at least 25 grass fires. According to information provided by Fire Marshal Shane Renberg, the county is averaging 588 on the Ketch-Byram Drought Index. The standard for the drought index is 575.

Keetch-Byram Drought Index (KBDI) is an index used in determining forest-fire potential. The drought index is based on a daily water balance, where a drought factor is balanced with precipitation and soil moisture (assumed to have a maximum storage capacity of 8 inches) and is expressed in hundredths of an inch of soil moisture depletion.

Fire chiefs from North 19, Baxter and Westside were at the meeting to also recommend a countywide burn ban.

The commissioners will revisit the ban at it's next regularly scheduled meeting on July 23.

The commissioners held a public hearing and voted to approve the  Henderson County Right-Away policy written by Commissioner Ken  Geeslin.  Geeslin said the provisions of the Right Away policy do not impede on state right-away laws for utility entities.  The commissioners held two workshops before bringing this to a vote. The commissioners thanked Geeslin for his work on writing the Right Away policy.

A public hearing was held during the Tuesday Commissioners Court to establish an Emergency Service District No. 7 boundaries.  The emergency service district will be created north of Athens.  ESDs are political subdivisions established by local voters for the purpose of raising money through ad-valorem taxes on all real property located within the district. The commissioners voted to put the ESD No. 7 on the November ballot.

Other issues the commissioners considered at Tuesday’s meeting included:

• approval of the spending of Healthy County Rewards on Sonic Boom Appreciation luncheon, not to exceed $400;

• hiring of Gray and Company, LLC to manage the RFP process of General Liability and Worker's Comp Insurance;

• approval of contracts between taxing entities for the collection of property tax for the 2013-2014 year;

• approval to Tax Resale Deed for Lot 25, Lake Shadows, located in Precinct 1.