After pausing for a moment of silence in memory of Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputy Clifton Taylor, who was killed in the line of duty on Saturday after responding to a domestic disturbance report at a home near Venus, the Johnson County Commissioners Court on Monday removed the outdoor burning ban which had been in effect since Feb. 14.
However, Johnson County Judge Roger Harmon said residents should still proceed with caution while burning trash and other items.
“They need to be extremely cautious. Everyone always needs to be cautious,” Harmon said. “[The ban was removed] because of the moisture we’ve had in the county and everything has greened up. We’ve had [the ban] on for a long time and there are a lot of people out in the county that need to burn [trash].
According to the Texas Forest Service, no new fires were reported on Sunday, but fire officials were projecting critical fire weather for Monday, especially for the western half of the state.
As of Monday, 209 counties were still under a burn ban.
Texas Forest Service officials are still recommending residents not burn trash or debris when conditions are dry or windy and keeping lawn mowers and agricultural equipment in proper working condition and avoiding rocks and other materials which might cause a spark.
To report suspicious activities, call the Arson Hotline at 888-501-3850. If possible, safely obtain an accurate description of the person and/or vehicle, including the license number before calling the hotline.
Humans cause more than 90 percent of all wildfires, fire officials said, and recommended not welding or cutting without a spotter, a water source and a shovel.
The court also conducted a public hearing and approved an order authorizing use of county personnel and resources for the abatement of a public nuisances at 118 Buckskin Court in Alvarado, in which county officials have determined are in violation of the Texas Health and Safety Code.
The county can declare an abatement when a property is maintained in a manner that creates an unsanitary condition likely to attract or harbor mosquitoes, rodents, vermin or disease-carrying pests and weeds are allowed to grow more than 36 inches in a neighborhood within 300 feet of another residence or commercial establishment.
Commissioners also approved an order prohibited truck thru traffic on Percifield Trail between U.S. 67 and County Road 707 near Alvarado.
Commissioner Don Beeson said that the street was being used as a cut-though street for trucks.
Trucks would still be allowed to make deliveries and service gas wells as long as they exit the same way they came in, commissioners said.
During Monday’s meeting, commissioners:
• Tabled a letter of agreement with the city of Cleburne regarding curbs, gutters and sidewalks relating to the Emergency Operations Grant.
• Approved a vouchers program for implementation of Fort Worth’s Environmental Collection Center Household Hazardous Waste Program.
• Approved a request from the Downtown Cleburne Association to use county property during Springfest on May 20-21.
• Approved purchase of burn ban signs for display on strategic locations in Precinct 4.
• Approved contract changes with Rosser Funeral Home for human remains removal and transport.
• Renewal of a depository contract with First Financial Bank for the county and the tax assessor-collector.
• Recognized volunteers of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in Johnson County, who completed 29,787 hours of volunteers service during the last year.
• Received recognition, along with the county attorney’s office, from the Humane Society of North Texas.
• Heard a report regarding the comprehensive annual financial report for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.
The court also presented a proclamation for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.