County extends burn ban

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Madison County Commissioners Court on Thursday continued a burn ban that was issued July 20.

Due to lack of rainfall, and because the Texas Forest Service has indicated that the area is experiencing drought condition, the court during a special meeting extended the ban for 90 days.

Commissioner Carl Cannon was not at Thursday’s meeting.

County Judge C.E. McDaniel said that the ban could be removed by the court should conditions change.

Actions banned by the declaration include:

•any outdoor burning of any combustible material. The order does not prohibit cooking stoves fueled by "white gasoline" or outdoor cooking grills fueled by propane or natural gas. Additionally, it does not prohibit outdoor cooking events that are continuously monitored or overseen by Fire Department personnel;

•The sale and use of all fireworks; and

•Outdoor welding, except when a spotter is required for each welder, each cutter, and each grinder and for any activity that causes or may cause a spark, a diameter around the welding area of 25 feet and clear vegetation is kept wet if possible; a water pressure fire extinguisher per spotter is kept; welding rig must have a Class B chemical fire extinguisher, and no welding is to be performed if winds are 20 mph or greater.

Welders must call the Madison County Sheriff's Department at (936) 348-2755 and provide the location of the project, a contact person, a name of party responsible, and the name of welder.

Additionally, the county delayed approval of payment to SteamPro for work done on flooding at the J.R. Parten Elementary School.

County Designated Representative Lynn Jeffries said that an accident during a Life Ministries gathering on July 20. A child stepped on a faucet, which broke, and flooded the area; SteamPro was authorized by McDaniel to clean up the mess.

However, it has not presented the county with a bill, Jeffries said.

During the discussion, commissioners expressed concerned that no one in the county knew that Life Ministries was using county facilities, and that no one authorized the use of the building.

McDaniel said he thought it might be connected to the A&M Extension’s Fun Fridays, but Jeffries said they were separate events.

McDaniel directed Jeffries to find out exactly who Life Ministries is and who authorized their use of the building.

Commissioner Ricky Driskell said he was unsure how to pay a bill when the amount is not known, and moved to take no action. The vote was unanimous.

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