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Texas Counties Deliver
  • November 6, 2022

    Following recent rainfall that has improved ground conditions and reduced wildfire risk, Caldwell County has lifted the burn ban that has been in place since September 27. Please remember: Brush is the only thing that can be legally burned. For information about burning, please refer to the Caldwell County Emergency Management web page.

     

    October 25, 2022

    Caldwell County Commissioners today voted to appoint Clemente Verastegui as Pct. 1 Constable for the duration of the term of longtime Constable Smitty Terrell, who died in September. Verastegui, who has been a Caldwell County employee since 2019, is a corporal with the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office’s civil division, and prior to that, he worked for the county as a bailiff. He will hold dual commissions, working in his current capacity for the sheriff’s office and as Precinct 1 Constable for the remainder of his term, which expires December 31, 2024. Verastegui was sworn in as Pct. 1 Constable at Commissioners Court on Tuesday by Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Matt Kiely.

     

    October 18, 2022

    A couple of Caldwell County rain gauges officially reported just under 3/4 inch of rain since early Monday morning, but most reported under 1/4 inch and many reported none at all. Not only is it not safe to burn, but the National Weather Service has issued a Fire Danger Statement due to dry ground and atmospheric conditions that will remain in effect through 7 p.m. tonight. That means you should exercise care with all outdoor activities that could inadvertently cause wildfires. From the NWS: "Avoid the use of welding or grinding equipment near grass and dry brush and to avoid parking vehicles in tall, dry grass and weeds that could be ignited. Please do not toss cigarette butts on the ground. Report wildfires quickly to the nearest fire department or law enforcement office." 

     

    October 12, 2022

    Caldwell County Commissioners this week authorized Grants Administrator Dennis Engelke to move forward with finalizing a grant that will outfit 57 officers with the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office and Caldwell County constables’ offices with custom-fit rifle-resistant body armor units. Read the full press release here.

     

    October 6, 2022

    Expect traffic delays along the 11-mile stretch of FM 20 East/Blackjack St. from U.S. 183 to the Caldwell - Bastrop County line. This stretch of FM 20 East/Blackjack St. is undergoing road repairs, which include road resurfacing and seal coat treatment, and could take about a month to complete.
    Road signs, flaggers, and pilot trucks are present. Please exercise caution.

     

    October 3, 2022

    Governor Greg Abbott has issued a proclamation extending a declaration of disaster due to extreme drought conditions in Caldwell County, along with numerous other counties located around the state. 

    Disaster declarations are often sought so that federal financial assistance can be obtained for both individuals and local and state jurisdictions in an impacted area to begin the process of recovery.

    The issuance of a local or state Disaster Declaration allows public officials to exercise emergency powers to preserve life, property, and public health following a disaster as indicated in the Texas Government Code, including:

    Ordering evacuation of a disaster threatened or impacted area
    Control access to an area following a disaster
    Hold individuals liable for the cost of rescue efforts if they ignore mandatory evacuations
    Temporarily suspend certain regulations and deadlines
    Temporarily disarm individuals during the state of disaster
    Request federal financial assistance for recovery projects in the impacted disaster area

     

    September 27, 2022

    Caldwell County Commissioners today reinstated the burn ban at the recommendation of the Caldwell County Office of Emergency Management. Chief EMC Hector Rangel cited average drought metrics that again indicated the county was experiencing a drought along with increased risk that a wildfire would spread were it to occur, along with recent wildfire activity. The burn ban prohibits outdoor burning of natural vegetation without a special burn permit. To apply for a special burn permit, contact the Caldwell County Office of Emergency Management.

    September 13, 2022

    Caldwell County Commissioners unanimously approved the 2022 tax rate at a regular meeting on Sept. 13, setting it at 55.32 cents per $100 valuation, which is down from 67.19 cents in 2021.  Despite the tax rate decrease, the proposed budget will raise more revenue from property taxes than in the previous year by $1,547,088 (or 7.5%) and of that amount $293,946 is tax revenue to be raised from new property added to the tax roll this year. Appraised property values in the county rose by about 50% last year. Click here for the full press release.

     

    September 9, 2022

    The Caldwell County Commissioners Court met Friday and approved the budget for FY 2022-2023 following a public hearing. Total planned budgeted general fund expenses for the fiscal year are $31,049,514.30.  Budgeted revenues for the year are based in part on the passage of a proposed tax rate for 2022 of 55.32 cents per $100 valuation, which is down from 67.19 cents in 2021, and a rise in property values within the county of approximately 50%. Commissioners will meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the county courthouse, where they will discuss and take action on the tax rate via roll call vote at their regular meeting.  

     

    September 1, 2022

    Caldwell County Judge Hoppy Haden signed an executive order today lifting the county-wide burn ban, noting that conditions were no longer considered a wildfire risk in unincorporated areas of the county that would be exacerbated by outdoor burning after recent rainfall dropped average KBDI levels for the area to a reading that is below the threshold for drought with rainfall in the forecast over the next several days. For information about burning, please refer to the Caldwell County Emergency Management web page.

     

    August 31, 2022

    Dove season starts September 1. Before you take aim, make sure you're familiar with Texas's hunting laws and familiarize yourself with county firearm laws. Some helpful links are listed below. Keep safe and happy hunting:

    County Order Prohibiting Discharge of Firearms in Subdivisions

    Hunting laws, penalties and restitution

    Restricted areas in counties

    Information about seasons and bag limits (click category to expand)

     

    August 23, 2022

    Road project update: The bridges on Political, Black Ankle and Witter roads have all been reopened to traffic, but paving has not yet been completed, so please exercise caution while traveling on them. Stay tuned to the county's regularly updated unit road projects page for further updates: https://www.co.caldwell.tx.us/page/Caldwell.RoadClosures

     

    August 22, 2022

    Caldwell County will host a community clean-up event from 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, September 17 at 1700 FM 2720 in Lockhart. Residents of Caldwell County may bring items such as furniture, old carpet, appliances (after hazardous materials have been professionally drained), metals, plastics and more. Click here and check the flyer for more details.

     

     

    August 17, 2022

    Caldwell County will host a community clean-up event from 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, August 20 at 423 San Marcos Hwy in Luling. Residents of Caldwell County may bring items such as furniture, old carpet, appliances (after hazardous materials have been professionally drained), metals, plastics and more. Click here and check the flyer for more details.

     

    August 16, 2022

    A revised version of the proposed 2022-2023 budget for Caldwell County has been posted to the county website. The proposed budget was finalized and posted shortly before the certified tax rolls were released. The proposed tax rate for 2022 is 55.32 cents per $100 valuation, down from 67.19 cents in 2021, resulting in $4.5 million less for the budget than was originally projected. 

    In previous years, the no-new-revenue tax rate went down by about six cents to offset the increase in appraised property value. Due to property values in the county that went up by about 50% in Caldwell County, the no-new-revenue tax rate for 2022 decreased 14 cents, meaning required removal of budgeted expenditures for 2022-2023 to make up the balance.

    The adjusted budget reflects the denial of new positions that were requested in several departments, a reduction in budgeted machinery and equipment purchases for Unit Road and Sheriff’s Office, and cuts to other line items within the budget.

     

    August 12, 2022

    The National Weather Service released a drought information statement. The highlights: La Nina (drier than typical weather) has a good chance of continuing through the end of the year, the immediate wildfire risk for the South Central Texas region has decreased recently, but the area still remains in an extreme drought, and water flow, aquifers and soil moisture are all largely lower than normal. The NWS said there may be reason to be optimistic that conditions could improve next year should things follow a similar course to what they did from 2011 to 2012. 

    August 11, 2022

    The proposed 2022 tax rate is 55.32 cents per $100 valuation, down from 67.19 cents in 2021. Due to property values in the county that went up by about 50% in Caldwell County, the no-new-revenue tax rate for 2022 decreased by 14 cents. The 55.32 cent rate represents the voter-approval tax rate, which is the maximum amount allowed by law without voter approval. What’s next:  A public hearing will be held and commissioners will then vote to adopt the rate.

    July 28, 2022

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated Caldwell County as a Primary Disaster Area due to intense drought conditions during the growing season. As a Primary Disaster Area, affected farmers and ranchers may apply for emergency loans through the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) to assist with various recovery needs including replacement of essential equipment, livestock, reorganization of a farming operation, or the refinance of certain debts. The FSA will review the loans based on the extent of losses. 
     Bastrop, Fayette, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Hays, and Travis Counties also received the designation. The deadline to apply for benefits is February 13, 2023. For more information and resources, click here.

     

    July 27, 2022

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security have declared a state of emergency for St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands due to a water shortage. If you are planning on traveling there this summer, you may wish to consider a change of plans. Read the declaration here.

     

    July 22, 2022

    Caldwell County will begin providing a weekly status report of known community water restrictions that will continue while drought conditions in our area persist. Compiling the reports is Hector Rangel, Chief of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for Caldwell County, who said most of the water companies are reporting that they are running “above normal levels of water disbursement, but are maintaining the water supply.”

    At this time, City of Lockhart is in a mandatory watering rotation (with your watering day being determined by whether your address ends in an odd or even number) to reduce peak water usage. City of Luling and Fentress/TRI Community Water Department are in Stage 2. City of Martindale and County Line Water Department are in Stage 3. If you reside in each of these communities, visit their websites or contact your local officials to learn what restrictions apply to these stages.

    Maxwell Water Company, Goforth Water Company and Polonia/Aqua Water Company are unknown at this time, so please contact them if they are your water provider and you have any questions.

     

    July 18, 2022

    Crews working on improvements to Black Ankle Road and Witter Road are reporting multiple instances of barricades and road detour signs being torn down while workers are away from the sites. Barricades and road detour signage are put in place to keep the public safe and prevent accidents from occurring while road work continues. Removing it is not only unsafe, it's also against the law. People caught removing the signage could face criminal penalties. Leave the signs alone.

     

    July 6, 2022

    Caldwell County will host a community clean-up event from 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, July 16 at 47 Civic Drive in Dale, near the Dale Community Center. Residents of Caldwell County may bring items such as furniture, old carpet, appliances (after hazardous materials have been professionally drained), metals, plastics and more. Click here and check the flyer for more details.

     

    July 5, 2022

    Dr. Al Dos Santos, Caldwell County Veterans Services officer, is sponsoring an all-expenses paid PTSD workshop for veterans in Wimberley from Aug. 19-21 that includes lodging, meals and materials. Please see the attached flyer and printable registration form for details.

     

    June 24, 2022

    Small nonfarm businesses in seven Texas counties - including Caldwell County - are now eligible to apply  for low-interest federal disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, announced Director Tanya N. Garfield of SBA’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West. These loans offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by drought that began April 19, 2022. Click here to learn more.

     

    June 22, 2022

    On June 14, Caldwell County Commissioners passed an order with intent to ban the sale of fireworks if severe dry conditions persisted through the Fourth of July period. No neighboring county has enacted a similar ban, nor has the governor’s office taken action regarding existing severe dry conditions, making fireworks accessible nearby. Therefore on Tuesday, June 21, following numerous complaints, the commissioners court amended its order allowing the general sale of fireworks during the Fourth of July period, but it continues to prohibit the sale of sticks and fins, which are considered to pose a greater fire risk in dry conditions.

    While the order allows the general sale of fireworks in Caldwell County beginning June 24 and continuing through July 4 at midnight, Caldwell County Judge Hoppy Haden urged the public to avoid shooting fireworks and to respect the countywide burn ban.

    “We had five fires yesterday, all of which were caused by outdoor burning, and we tragically lost a couple of firefighters yesterday in a crash,” Haden said. “I’m concerned about them being suited up in heavy gear responding to fires with outside temperatures over 100 degrees. One of the fires yesterday was caused by someone burning a cardboard box. Please do not burn outside – period - for any reason. Even if you’re thinking about lighting your barbecue pit, think twice because it is a tinder box out there. We are one apparatus down right now due to the wreck. These firefighters all have jobs and families and I would describe burning brush and risking lives as a selfish act. Think long and hard before you do it.”

    Click here to see the order.

     

    June 15, 2022

    Witter Road will be closed to through traffic between Tumbleweed Trail and Jerry’s Creek Road as part of the Caldwell County CDBG Drainage and Roadway Improvements construction project. Construction will replace the existing culvert crossing, approximately 300 feet northeast of the intersection of Jerry’s Creek Road and Witter Road. A temporary construction detour has been established with signage posted along the route. See the alternate route map here and see written directions for travelers here. This project is funded by the Texas General Land Office of the State of Texas to provide for disaster recovery and restoration of infrastructure for communities impacted by the Floods of 2015. Funds allocated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development through the Community Development Block Grant Program.

     

    June 13, 2022

    Registration for a two-day workshop for Caldwell County nonprofits designed to hone their grant-writing skills is now open. Choose from two dates in July and one in August. Click here to read the full announcement and follow this link to download the registration form.

     

    June 10, 2022

    The non-emergency phones at the sheriff's office are up and running. You can reach them by dialing (512) 398-6777.

     

    June 6, 2022

    Amid increasingly dry, hot conditions and wildfire risks, Caldwell County Judge Hoppy Haden reinstituted a county-wide burn ban today. Visit the Caldwell County Office of Emergency Management webpage to read FAQs about what is and isn't allowed during a burn ban.

     

    June 6, 2022

    The tire collection event for residents of Caldwell and Hays Counties is Saturday, June 11 from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. There is no charge to drop off your tires but restrictions apply. Click here for details.

     

    June 3, 2022

    To combat the issue with the non-emergency lines, the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office has obtained a temporary phone until the normal phone lines are restored. For non-emergencies, please call (737) 357-2218. This is available for immediate use. If it is an emergency, please call 911.

    You can also email ccso.dispatch@co.caldwell.tx.us. Please understand that this email is not constantly monitoredbut will be routinely checked until the phone system is restored.