Tuesday, September 27, 2011

New Crockett Civic Center Storm Shelter Addition

Wow, that's a mouthful! Today, the City of Crockett had the dedication ceremony for the newly completed addition to the Crockett Civic Center. And for those of you that were in attendance, I don't have to tell you what a nice facility it is!

As a result of Hurricane Ike way back in 2008, the federal government designated a certain amount of funding to assist communities in doing two things: becoming better prepared for the effects of any storms in the future and repairing infrastructure that was damaged as a result of the storms.

As many of you know even though Hurricane Ike wasn't as severe, our city and county did reach out and shelter nearly 2,000 visitors from the Gulf Coast during Hurricane Rita in 2005. The Crockett Civic Center was a key facility in this effort and over the years, we have made efforts to improve the building in case we ever need it again for a storm shelter. The Civic Center has back up power generators, a shower and laundry facility as well as a commercial kitchen.

Under Hurricane Ike Round 1 Disaster Relief, the City applied for and received funding to construct a 3250 square foot addition to the Civic Center, to be used as a storm shelter in the future. If another hurricane forces folks from the Coast, we will be much better prepared to shelter those evacuees.

But in the meantime, the new addition can be used for meetings, receptions, luncheons, conferences and the like. The new addition is designed to be used as one large meeting room or divided with a partition into two smaller meeting rooms. It is a first class facility that I know will get a tremendous amount of use.

A very special thank you to Knox Furniture for helping to stage the new room with beautiful furnishings as well as donating two flat screen TVs in memory of H.B. and Dottie Knox. They are a great additions to the new foyer and will provide vital information in the case of another storm.

Thank you as well to all who attended and assisted with the ceremony. It was a real treat to have as special speakers Houston County Judge Lonnie Hunt, U. S. Congressman Kevin Brady and DETCOG Executive Director Walter Diggles. I think all will agree it was a great event and just one more reason why I love Crockett, Texas !

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

This Isn't Supposed To Happen This Close To Home!

Unfortunately, we now have the distinction of being a community, like so many others across this great state and nation, dramatically touched by wildfires. As of this morning, the 5000 plus acre Arbor Fire as it's being called, is contained but still not totally controlled. If you travelled around the loop last night, there was an eerie orange glow on the horizon east of Crockett, a reminder of the devastation and destruction that wildfires cause.

I want to say a special thank you to the firefighters, emergency responders, law enforcement and support teams involved in this huge effort. They've spent countless days and nights, in harm's way, doing their best to protect property and life. A tragic event of this magnitude boggles the mind when it comes to logistics, but methodically and without hesitation, firefighters and emergency personnel from our area as well as other cities and states, continue to battle this beast. And if I know them well enough, they won't quit until it is safely controlled.

There have been some that have lost homes, barns, equipment, farms and ranches. My heart goes out to you but I can assure you that we as a community will do our part to lend a helping hand to those of you in need. There's still work to be done, and there will be many opportunities to assist in the near future. Keep all involved in your prayers as we pray for rain and for the weather to cooperate.