Burn ban extended - Odessa American: News

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Posted: Monday, May 11, 2009 12:00 am

A cool, wet day usually means one thing - it's time for Ector County Commissioners to vote on a burn ban.

Despite the damp weather, commissioners approved a 30-day extension of the burn ban, which has been in effect since Feb. 9. Odessa Fire Marshal Detra White took the place of West Odessa Volunteer Fire Chief Jimmy Ellis, who was on duty, in pleading for the ban to remain.

White said the amount of rain falling Monday in Odessa wasn't significant enough to affect the dryness level in the area.

"Even if we did receive some rain showers, we'd probably need quite a bit more," she said.

The burn ban includes exceptions for welding, barbecuing in approved pits and burning trash in covered containers.

The Commissioners had coaches, players and mascot Digger on hand representing the Odessa Roughnecks indoor football team at the meeting, when they declared May to be "Roughnecks Month." The team presented the commissioners, who were without County Judge Susan Redford and Precinct 3 Commissioner Dale Childers, with pictures of jerseys with their names on the back.

Presumably, the commissioners would play special teams. They rejected bids Monday like they were blocking field goals.

First, they acted on the advice of Sheriff Mark Donaldson in turning down the lone bid on new jail doors and locks at the Ector County Detention Center. Precinct 1 Commissioner Freddie Gardner, who served as county judge, said the only bid received was over budget. Instead they will repair jail doors and locks on an "as needed" basis.

Bids on a security camera and recorder system at the administration annex building were also rejected. Precinct 2 Commissioner Greg Simmons said the low bid was $24,300 for a project budgeted at $8,000. The project will be reviewed again during the commissioners' budget workshop in August.

In other action, commissioners approved:

>> Withdrawing discussions of a transportation project involving South JBS Parkway, along with revisions to the Ector County Substance Abuse Policy.

>> Tabling discussions of Ector County joining the Texas Association of Counties and an agreement for the County Information Resources Agency to perform an assessment of the Ector County Information Technology network.

>> $3,307 in donations for construction of the West Side Senior Center.

>> A donation of a 1909 windmill motor, valued at $1,000, and an upright piano, valued at $650, to the White Pool House.

>> Continuing participation in the Office Education Program with ECISD during next school year, which allows students to work in county offices for $7.25 an hour.

>> The disbursement of approximately $24,233 in Supplemental Environmental Program funds received from   the Pecos Valley Resource Conservation and Development Council.

>> Awarding a managing bank contract to American State Bank.

>> Fire and sprinkler system agreements for the youth center, annex, law enforcement center and Civiginics.

>> A new health benefits enrollment sign up form.

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