Notification of plans to abandon a local pipeline and the need to address domestic violence concerns were two items that topped the agenda at a recent meeting of the Karnes County Commissioners Court.

In accordance with state regulations, the commissioners court was notified by Marathon Oil that the company is abandoning a pipeline off County Road 323.

“They have a responsibility to inform the county,” a county employee told the commissioners court during a meeting Sept. 30. “They also have to detail their plan for cleaning out hydrocarbons and capping off the pipeline. To remove the pipeline would destroy the subgrade of the road, it would have to be ripped out – it’s best to leave it in.”

Marathon Oil told the county it is abandoning the location because it is taking over other pipelines in the area that are more convenient for the company to use.

As at the meeting, the commissioners court proclaimed October to be Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

The proclamation notes that domestic violence impacts the safety, dignity and humanity of its victims, and that the problem cuts across all economic, racial and social boundaries. Women, children and men are victims of domestic violence.

A regional center to help those affected receives an average of 903 calls per day, with more than 2,000 total shelter days combined for those seeking refuge.

Billions of dollars are lost because of the reduced work productivity, health care and other costs associated with the problem.

“It is very important to be aware of this,” said County Judge Wade Hedtke. “ A lot of time these folks need a place to go and a safe spot.”

Lyssy asked what the average shelter stay is for those uprooted because of domestic violence.

“It can vary depending on each individual situation, but the typical shelter day is 30 days,” a representative of a domestic violence prevention and response group said. 

“The pandemic has made things a little weird. Non-residential (those not seeking shelter) have gone up considerably. We used up our entire counseling budget for the year before we reached the halfway point. Fortunately, we were able to secure additional funds.”

In other action, commissioners:

• Rescheduled their next meeting to Friday, Oct. 8 from Tuesday Oct. 12. County Judge Wade Hedtke said several county leaders will be traveling out of town for a conference, promoting the date change. The meeting is scheduled for the County Annex Building at 210 Calvert St., rather than at the Karnes County Courthouse.

• Approved a lease for an ice machine for use by workers at a Karnes County Field office. It was noted that to replace the machine would cost $4,700 to $4,800, and a lease would cost $200 per month. Under the lease agreement, the county would not be responsible for routine maintenance on the machine.

“My experience with ice machines is that it is cheaper to lease one,” said Commissioner Benny Lyssy. When they get older, repairs are frequently needed.”

The machine will be used by county road and bridge workers, who frequently work for extended periods in warm to hot weather.



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