County declared disaster area
After pulling an all-nighter battling local wildfires, the Nolan County Commissioners met for a special meeting on Monday morning, June 20, 2011.Only two actions items were presented at the brief meeting, but the main purpose of the gathering was to approve the extension of the disaster declaration and prohibition of outdoor burning in Nolan County for one more week.At the previous regular meeting last Monday, June 14, 2011, the commissioners approved a draft declaring the county a disaster area. The declaration drafted by the Commissioners stated that "extraordinary measures must be taken to alleviate the suffering of people and to protect or rehabilitate property".The document cites the actions prohibited under the declaration, such as "all outdoor burning of any combustible material" and "the sale and use of all fireworks". Enforcement of the declaration is also noted, where the fire department will respond to the burning site and distinguish the fire and peace officers will investigate the fire. The law enforcement at the scene will then notify those responsible of the prohibitions and, at the officer's discretion, will inform the party of the provisions under the declaration and ask them to comply. In such cases, a written entry will be recorded on the burning.Should the violations continue, "subsequent or flagrant violations of this order may be prosecuted in accordance with the statues and procedures governing misdemeanors." The document states that any peace officer may enforce the declaration and prosecution will take place with the Justice of the Peace Court.Following the meeting on the 14th, the declaration was received by Texas Governor Rick Perry, in which the request was reviewed and granted by Perry at the recommendation of the Texas Division of Emergency Management. However, commissioners have to make the declaration on a weekly basis for the order to continue, in which the commissioners approved.Approval was also given to go out for bids for a pneumatic roller for use in all four precincts. The current machinery is small and rather old, prompting the search for the roller to be used for a seal coating project, among other needs.