Commissioners leave burn ban in place
By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Coryell County Commissioners agreed to leave the county burn ban in place at their second meeting of the month held Monday morning.
The decision came after Gatesville fire chief Billy Vaden shared his recommendation, explaining there had been a number of fires reported, most of them the result of people burning without knowledge of the burn ban and others the result of residents burning trash using open pit burning without screens.
The commissioners tabled an action item to approve an exception to burning during a County Burn Ban for the Crossed Timbers Prescribed Burn Ban Association, after discussion prompted by Vaden. Vaden said he had received several calls from local residents asking whether they should join the CTPBBA to be able to burn during the burn ban. Vaden said he had his own questions about whether this group was following the rules.
Individual property owners are required to meet the state requirements of a certified burner and have proper safety precautions in place, to include appropriate fire suppression, a certified burner on site and at least $1 million of liability coverage.
Vaden explained that he had nothing against the group as long as they followed the requirements by the state.
“Running around on a four-wheeler with a little 10-gallon water tank on the back is not fire suppression,” Vaden said. “If they’re going to do it, I want them to follow the rules.”
County attorney Brandon Belt said he didn’t think any of the members in the CTPBBA were certified, because legally to do a prescribed burn during a burn ban, county permission is not needed.
The commissioners approved awarding the bid for demolition, clearing and cleaning of county property at 710 E. Leon Street in Gatesville to Yoko Excavating, LLC for $17,650. The commissioners voted to delay work to remediate approximately 80 square-feet of linoleum with asbestos in the same building, based on an exception found in US Code of Federal Regulation 40 CFR, section 61.145 regarding the standard for demolition and renovation, which says with the standard for demolition and renovation, all requirements apply if the combined amount is at least 160 square feet.
The commissioners approved a lease for an ice machine contract to support the County Jail. The commissioners also approved the Victims' of Crime-Act (VOCA) grant application.
The commissioners approved a preliminary plat for the Duncan Meadow Subdivision off Duncan Rd.
The commissioners also approved a joint agreement with the Union Valley Cemetery Association to assist in the grade, shaping, installation of crushed rock to help maintain access to the cemetery, for a distance of 700 feet.