(Mark Engebretson)
Palo Pinto County commissioners appointed Larry O’Neil as interim county fire marshal and emergency management coordinator.
O’Neil was appointed following the resignation of Buddy Harwell, who accepted a position as fire chief and assistant emergency management coordinator at Cuero, in South Texas.
O’Neil said he started his fire fighting career in 1977 in LaPorte.
“I retired and moved here in 2002,” he said. “I’ve been working with Lone Camp (VFD) and Buddy.
“I’m just filling in until they find someone to take the job full time.”
He added that he has no desire for the permanent position.
“I’m here to serve the people of Palo Pinto County to the best of mu ability,” he said.
In other business, commissioners:
• Approved spending almost $7,000 more to repair a courthouse sewer line after it was discovered the line was a 6-inch rather than a 4-inch as previously thought. Accurate Leak and Line will install a lining in the cast iron sewer line that has been in place since the courthouse opened in 1940.
• Declined to accept a purchase request from former County Fire Marshal Buddy Harwell for the helmet he used. County Auditor Steve Watson told commissioners there was no provision in the law for that sale without first seeking competitive bids. The court voted instead to give the $236 helmet to Harwell since the helmet had lost more than half its useful life.