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Staging area considered for disaster response
Jul 26, 2013 | 974 views | 0 0 comments | 32 32 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tim Delaney photo
The Refugio County Fairgrounds may be the location of a regional staging area during emergency situations, including hurricanes, when the Refugio County Commissioners Court meets again on Aug. 2 to decide the issue.
Tim Delaney photo The Refugio County Fairgrounds may be the location of a regional staging area during emergency situations, including hurricanes, when the Refugio County Commissioners Court meets again on Aug. 2 to decide the issue.
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REFUGIO – Refugio County Emergency Management Coordinator Stan Upton urged county commissioners on Tuesday morning, July 23, to approve the Refugio County Fairgrounds as a staging area in case of a hurricane or other serious emergency.

The staging area will be a place for resources such as generators and equipment to fix infrastructure in the entire area.

Possibly thousands of trucks would come to the staging area with the equipment, according to Upton.

Upton said Garner Environmental Services Inc. made the request for the county’s nine and a half acres at the fairgrounds (not the private land portion) as the staging area. The only other choice would be in San Antonio.

“This is a win-win situation for us,” Upton said.

Refugio’s infrastructure would likely be fixed first with the location of the staging area being here.

County Judge Rene Mascorro said the item will be placed on an upcoming agenda for approval.

Refugio County commissioners also approved engineers and a grant management firm for a water and sewer improvement project at their Tuesday morning meeting, July 23.

The project is funded by a $300,000 Texas Community Development Block Grant won by the Refugio County Water Control and Improvement District No. 1.

Grant funds have to flow through the commissioners court for bookkeeping purposes.

Southwest Engineers were chosen from four engineering firms submitting bids.

Langford Community Management Services was chosen from two services submitting bids.

The other management firm submitting a bid was GrantWorks, but the scoring was identical. Langford had done a lot of work in Precinct 4 where the project is and has done a good job, so the company was chosen.

Bids were opened last week by the WCID No. 1 board members and successful bidders named.

Commissioners also granted a five-year tax abatement beginning in 2014 for Tommy and Angel Kelly, who have invested the minimum $150,000 for a new home.

The tax abatement schedule starts with an 80 percent abatement followed by 60 percent, 40 percent, 20 percent and zero in the last year.

Commisioners also conducted a workshop pertaining the Refugio County Airport.

Ruth Vandervlugt, who lives at the airport, said she has been taking care of the airport for 41 years, and she will be retiring at the end of September.

“It’s too expensive for me, and I just want some time for me now,” she said.

Her husband died last year in a plane crash, and since that time, she has taken on the expense of the two 10,000 gallon fuel tanks along with insurance costs for them.

She said she was willing to turn over the tanks to the county, but the county should be aware of some of the expenses, including $4,000 for insurance on the tanks, $750 for pressure testing of the tanks, $350 for each line on the tanks and other expenses.

On average, the fuel sales generate between $2,000 and $3,000 a month.

But the county will have to initiate a fuel base operation or FBO, and it will have to secure a long-term lease to be eligible for federal grant money.

Mascorro asked the Refugio County Airport Advisory Committee to put a budget together so the court can address the issue better.

A special meeting was scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 2, to discuss the airport budget and associated issues.
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