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Posts published in “Day: June 28, 2011

Fireworks Banned in Harris County

County Judge Ed Emmett signed a disaster declaration last week indicating that the sale of all fireworks is banned within Harris County until after the Fourth of July.
The ban does not extend to commercial displays and it is a unique ruling for a unique drought.
“All of us on Commissioners Court recognize public safety as our top responsibility,” Emmett said. “I think everyone, from Fire Marshal Mike Montgomery and local fire officials to representatives of the fireworks industry and the general public at large, understands the overwhelming need to take serious preventive action to avert disastrous wildfires from threatening our property, our homes and our families.”
Emmett’s action only restricts sales for 60 hours, but the order will be sent to Governor Perry. Perry authorized similar drought disaster declarations in 108 other counties that last until those counties lift them. All municipalities in Harris County already have such a ban.

The move was prompted by a record setting wildfire blazing West of the county and fires such as the small blaze in Huffman last week that raged to a minimum 188 acres and traversed three miles North and South.
Fireworks stores agreed not to sell the items within Harris County on their own.
Commissioners will vote on extending the countywide ban on burning by 90 days until mid-October.
Violators of the fireworks ban face a $1,000 fine and 180 days in jail. Violators of the burn ban face a fine of up to $500 for each violation.
Conditions are ripe for wildfires of unpresidented magnitude, according to Emmett, “What would be a normal grassfire suddenly becomes a 50 acre fire threatening subdivisions.”
Last week firefighters from four counties and 18 different departments battled for three days what started as a roadside fire in Huffman.
Texas Forestry Service has battled 22 large fires that have burned 132,750 acres. 225 counties of 254 in Texas have burn bans.

EAD: Money available for septic system replacement in Westfield Estates

The East Aldine District is working with two other local government agencies, to provide replacement septic systems to homeowners in the Westfield Estates subdivision that need to replace their existing systems.
Westfield Estates is an older subdivision that is bounded by Aldine Westfield Road on the west, Hopper Road on the north, Hall Bayou and Shady on the east, and Trenton on the south.
The agencies that will provide the funding include the Harris County Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Houston-Galveston Area Council. These funds are available free to homeowners and the East Aldine District due to a lawsuit that was settled by a payment to fund this type of environmental improvement.

At this time, the exact number of septic systems that can be replaced is not known, but it is expected to be about 10 homes. These will be chosen by reviewing applications that homeowners will submit to the East Aldine District. Forms for this purpose are available at the District office, 5333 Aldine Mail Route.
Value of each replacement system could be as much as $30,000 to $60,000 according to Scott Bean of the District.
Homeowners will be chosen who meet certain criteria. These are: income qualified (see District for details), and have enough property to support a replacement on-site sanitary sewer facility.
In addition, commitments will be made to those who apply earliest, and priority to those over 65, and those who already have paid for a design of a replacement septic system.
Additional information and applications are available at the East Aldine District offices. Applicants are urged to reply promplty.