By Chris Edwards
WOODVILLE – Tyler County commissioners met in a special-called meeting on the morning of Monday, Oct. 23, and tackled a short agenda with the ratification of the countywide burn ban on deck.
Tyler County Judge Milton Powers announced the burn ban’s reinstatement on Tuesday, Oct. 17. It had previously been lifted for five days, and Powers cited an increase in winds, lower humidity and no expected rainfall as reasons for the burn ban being put back into place.
The commissioners voted to ratify the order, and it will be in effect until rescinded. “It’s not gotten any better, and we’ve had a couple of fires over the weekend,” Powers said.
One of the fires came about from an individual grilling a steak, where an ember escaped the grill and burned about an acre of grass, he added.
“We want to try our best to leave this enacted until we get some significant rain,” Powers said.
Powers said the county is following daily charts that are tabulating rainfall, and the previous lifting of the ban was to give residents a window of opportunity to burn.
Christmas decorations funding approved
Judge Powers spoke to an agenda item that called for the funding of decorations for the courthouse at Christmastime. The commissioners approved the funding of decorations from the county’s economic development fund.
Powers said the decorating of the courthouse attracts a lot of people to come and participate in the countywide Christmas in Tyler County celebration, which adds revenue. He also spoke about the aesthetic value of having the courthouse decorated as part of the celebration. “I remember as a kid, the courthouse looking so beautiful [at Christmastime], and I’d like to see it back that way,” he said.
Some options he said that have been considered include projection-type decorations.
Bench exchange agreement
On Monday, commissioners approved a bench exchange agreement between Tyler and Jasper counties, with Judge Powers and Jasper County Judge Mark Allen able to exchange roles in the event of a conflict of interest here.
Powers added that aside from any cases that might be on future dockets involving any family members, there are still some cases to adjudicate from when he served as Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace.
He thanked Allen for agreeing to the bench exchange agreement, and said that the issue of compensation for Allen’s services will be determined later.