News

Wed
06
Feb

Viator is chosen as Citizen of the Year

Vidorian photo/George Garza

Former Mayor of Vidor and now Orange County Precinct #4 Commissioner, Robert Viator, Jr., accepts the plaque naming him as the Vidor Chamber of Commerce 2019 Citizen of the Year from Chamber Board member Atasha Quebedeaux during the Chamber’s Annual Membership Meeting and Awards Banquet last week.

Robert Viator, Jr., has been selected by the Vidor Chamber of Commerce as its 2019 Citizen of the Year. The former Mayor of Vidor, Robert Viator is our Precinct #4 Orange County Commissioner.

“I’m humbled and I thank the people that nominated me,” said Commissioner Viator. It’s a huge honor to have been recognized in this way. I grew up in Vidor, went to school all my years in Vidor and to be my own hometown that recognized me at such a level is truly humbling. But I have to emphasize it was a team effort what we did after the storm. It was everybody working together.”

The announcement of Commissioner Viator’s selection as Citizen of the Year came during the Chamber of Commerce Annual Membership Meeting and Awards Banquet held last Thursday night.

 

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Thu
31
Jan

Appointees, newcomer file in Vidor City Election

Two recent appointees and a political newcomer have filed for the mayor and two of three open Vidor City Council positions.

Candidate filing begins for mayor, three council seats in Vidor municipal election. Filing will continue through February 15.

Kimberly Stiebig, a 51-year old catalog salesperson, appointed January 10 by the city council to serve out the unexpired term of former Mayor, now Orange County Precinct 4 Commissioner, Robert Viator, has filed for the mayor’s seat.

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Thu
31
Jan

You can fish for Rainbow Trout at County Park

Photo courtesy/©Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

A Texas Parks and Wildlife Fisheries technician nets Rainbow Trout from a fish transport tank to restock an unidentified Texas pond. The TPWD Fisheries people will be at Claiborne-West Park next Tuesday to stock the County Park’s pond with 500 Rainbow Trout.

Although the temperatures have been chilly and we’ve had more than our share of rain, some people like to go fishing in cold weather to cast for cold-water species of fish.

One of the more spectacular cold-water species of fish are Rainbow Trout. Now most folks think they have to go to freshwater streams in the northwest United States to fish for Rainbow Trout. But starting next week, you can cast your line for a Rainbow Trout right here in at the pond in Claiborne-West Park in Orange County.

“We’ve had Texas Parks and Wildlife come in and stock our pond every winter for a number of years now,” said Orange County Parks Department Director Sabrina Gray. “Next week they are bringing them in from the A.E. Woods Fish Hatchery in Jasper.”

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Thu
31
Jan

OCEDC keeps business in Orange County

Map courtesy/Orange County Economic Development Corporation

Olson Engineering of Bridge City will move to this plot of land (colored blue) on West Roundbunch Road across from Bridge City Elementary when they invest $4 million to expand their operations and hire thirty-six new employees. The company had been looking outside of Orange County for a place to expand when the Orange County EDC found them this wooded plot.

The Orange County Economic Development Corporation has succeeded in finding a place for a high wage paying Orange County business to expand their operations to bring 36 more jobs to our area.

Jessica Hill announced last Tuesday afternoon, during a meeting of the Orange County Commissioners’ Court that Olson Engineering of Bridge City plans to invest $4 million in a new facility to expand their operations in Orange County. This expansion will allow the company to hire thirtysix new employees in high-salary jobs at the new location.

When she announced the successful retention of an Orange County business she requested that the court grant a six-year tax rebate on the new property and the new building Olson Engineering plans to build there.

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Thu
31
Jan

Jefferson Energy presents $3.8 million ad valorem tax check

Photo courtesy/staff

Mark Viator of Jefferson Energy presents three checks totaling $3,884,880 in 2018 ad valorem property taxes to the Orange County Commissioners’ Court during their Tuesday afternoon meeting. Those checks represent 2018 taxes paid to five Orange County taxing entities.

Jefferson Energy, who operates a petrochemical transshipment facility at the Port of Beaumont Orange County Facility near Rose City presented three checks to the Orange County Commissioners Court totaling $4,385,810 on Tuesday. The check presentation was the culmination of a detailed presentation about how tax abatements granted by Orange County and other taxing entities for expansion at the facility translates into real dollar returns for Orange County businesses, citizens, schools and communities.

“If you would continue to allow us to expand, we will continue to add to your tax base, we will continue to hire local…and we will continue to make best efforts to utilize local Orange County vendors,” said Mark Viator, director for public and governmental affairs of Jefferson Energy Companies.

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Wed
30
Jan

Marble façade on Orange County Courthouse to be fixed

Vidorian photo/George Garza

The marble sections on the underside of the rooftop overhang of the Orange County Courthouse building façade are damaged, cracked and corroded. These sections of marble will have to be removed from the building to be repaired and refurbished.

Sometime this year the scaffolding on the front entrance of the Orange County Courthouse in Orange will finally come down and the front door of the historic building will be open for business again.

Last week the Orange County Commissioner’s Court authorized going out for bids from contractors experienced in repairing and rehanging the marble façade that frames the front door and three floors of the historic county courthouse building.

A three story tall scaffolding structure had been erected in front of the marble façade in an attempt to hold the heavy marble blocks in place until a suitable repair plan could be put together and acted upon. The scaffolding has been in place for some four years and during that time the front doors of the courthouse building have been closed and locked to public use.

Wed
30
Jan

Water district wins $500,000 storm repair grant

Vidorian photo/George Garza

This OCWC&ID#1 wastewater lift station located at the end of Oak Lane just across the creek from the OCWC&ID#1 wastewater treatment plant was completely underwater during the floods of Hurricane Harvey. The Texas Water Development Board has awarded the water district a $500,000 grant to redesign and rebuild the lift station. You can see the wastewater treatment plant in the picture’s background.

The Orange County Water Control and Improvement District #1 in Vidor has been selected by the Texas Water Development Board to be awarded a $500,000 loan forgiveness grant for repairs to a major wastewater lift station that was inundated by floodwaters during Hurricane Harvey. The TWDB grant will be used to replace damaged electrical control panels, replace pumps and electric motors, to elevate motors and control panels and to install an electrical generator to keep the lift station on-line and operating during a power failure.

The lift station to be repaired, known locally by the water district as “Lower Lift”, is located near the entrance to the water district’s wastewater treatment plant and serves the gravity flow wastewater collection system of a neighborhood bounded by the freeway, Lian St., Ferndale, Oak Lane, and Davis Loop on the north side of I-10.

Wed
30
Jan

Pine Forest to hold flood control project public meeting

The City of Pine Forest will hold a public meeting on their proposed flood control project to move excess storm waters down Tiger Creek to the Neches River through seven miles of yet to be built canals and flood control drainage systems. According to city consultant Duane Gordy, all will be revealed at a February 7th public meeting to be held in the Pine Forest Elementary School Cafeteria from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m.

Gordy says there will be maps and diagrams for the public to see and members of the Pine Forest City Council seemed to be enthusiastic to invite their neighbors and friends to attend the public meeting.

“We don’t have to be quiet anymore,” Gordy told City Council members at a special meeting the Council held on a Friday night. “And I think it’s a great idea because people need to understand what is about to be accomplished.”

 

Thu
24
Jan

Help a Coast Guardsmen eat

Courtesy Photo/Fire Museum of Texas

Beaumont Firefighters will hold a benefit for our local U.S. Coast Guardsmen who are working without pay since the government shutdown. They will be selling pull pork sandwiches on Saturday morning at The Fire Museum of Texas Pavilion seen here to the left of the huge fire hydrant. Photo Courtesy Fire Museum of Texas.

Most of our readers are aware that a partial shutdown of the federal government has been going on for about a month. Hundreds of thousands of government worker have been furloughed or are working without pay. Among those still working without pay in the Vidor area are the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard. Coast Guardsmen patrol all of the recreational waters of Orange County and protect our ports and vital riverside facilities. These young Guardsmen live in our communities, shop at our stores and send their kids to our schools.

So far, these young men and women have missed two paychecks. The Professional Firefighters Union Local 399 of the Beaumont Fire and Rescue work with the local U.S. Coast Guard detachment all of the time and those firefighters have decided to do something to help Guardsmen get by or tide them over during their financial time of need

Thu
24
Jan

Some Harvey flood victims will get chance to buy FEMA shelter

Some Orange County Hurricane Harvey Flood victims are being offered an opportunity to purchase the FEMA Temporary Housing Unit that they received from the Texas General Land Office as a temporary family shelter while they attempted to repair their flood ravaged homes.

According to Lauren Hersh, FEMA Public Information Officer, this chance to permanently acquire their FEMA Temporary Housing Unit (THU) is being made available to flood victims due to the impending termination of FEMA THU Program, which was scheduled to end on February 25th of this year but has been extended to August 25th.

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