STAFF WRITER JARED FIELDS
Llano County commissioners voted during the Jan. 14 regular meeting to cease all debris removal in the county from the October flood.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Peter Jones was the lone vote against the motion, which passed 4-1.
In making the decision, the county reported it had removed all debris from the county after the flood.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Mike Sandoval, during discussion in a previous agenda item, brought up the scenario of a homeowner doing remodeling work and placing debris to be picked up and claiming it was from the flood.
Commissioners took action on two other flood-related items during the meeting.
The first was an amendment to the wording of the emergency declaration, which specified the county’s authority “to access orphan roads and gated communities for debris assessment and possible removal.”
Many property owners within private communities affected by the flood had signed waivers to allow county employees and equipment onto private property to remove flood debris.
The other flood-related item was the extension of the county’s emergency declaration. The commissioner’s court voted Dec. 11 to extend the declaration to Jan. 15. At the Jan. 14 meeting, the court had to again make a decision whether to extend the declaration and for how long.
“We will be dealing with this for the next year, folks,” said County Judge Ron Cunningham during discussion.
The county, like many others affected by the October flood, is waiting on a federal disaster declaration that would open up reimbursement funds.
“Going into the budget season, if we’ve expended all our resources, it’s important to know before we set a new budget,” Sandoval said.
With that in mind, he suggested extending the declaration to the end of the county’s fiscal year, which is Sept. 30.
“If we do not get a settlement, or conclusion, from (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) between now and then, we can simply extend it,” Jones said.
The motion passed unanimously.
The county’s next regular commissioner’s court meeting is scheduled for Jan. 28.