Angelina County Commissioners on Tuesday extended the Local State of Disaster Declaration for 35 days, until midnight May 1.

The extension begins at midnight on Friday, March 27. County Judge Don Lymbery said the recommendation was for a 60-day extension.

The original disaster declaration was made by Lymbery in conjunction with the city of Lufkin and would have only lasted through Friday, March 27. It required an extension by county commissioners.

The declaration enacts three regulations while it’s active:

■ Gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.

■ Dine-in services at restaurants are prohibited; restaurants and food services must use take-out, delivery, drive-in or drive-thru services.

■ Bars, lounges, taverns, private clubs, gyms, health studios, theaters and commercial amusement facilities are to be closed.

Failure to abide by these regulations will result in a $1,000 fine or confinement in the county’s jail for a term that does not exceed 180 days.

In the case that the threat ends before this time is up, Section 418.014 of the Texas Government Code on Emergency Management says declarations last until either the governor finds that the threat or danger has passed or the disaster has been dealt with to the extent that emergency conditions no longer exist.

The commissioners struck an item from the agenda because it did not explain what Lufkin attorney Bob Flournoy was approaching the court about. Commissioners were concerned that the lack of information was unfair to the public and would violate the Open Meetings Act.

County Attorney Cary Kirby said that rather than issue an official legal opinion on the matter, he recommended striking the item in an abundance of caution.

The issue was raised by Commissioners Terry Pitts (Precinct 3) and Bobby Cheshire (Precinct 4), although they agreed that Flournoy could approach the court in the next meeting as long as the agenda item was made clear.

The commissioners also:

■ Approved the final plats for the Green Sanders Road Subdivision No. 1 in Precinct 1 and for the Kenneth Carroll Road Subdivision No. 1 in Precinct 3.

■ Approved the monthly treasurer’s report for February.

■ Renewed the interlocal cooperation contract with the Texas Department of Public Safety on the Failure to Appear program.

■ Allowed Road and Bridge Precinct 4 to participate in operation Clean-Sweep, which was presented by the Diboll Civic Club, to be held on some date in 2020. That date was changed from the original writing in the agenda to accommodate concerns over COVID-19, Cheshire said.

■ Extended the employee’s hospital services agreement between the county and CHI St. Luke’s Health-Memorial through June 30.

■ Approved Pct. 4 Constable Ray Anthony’s 2019 racial profiling report for the county.

The commissioners also approved budget transfers for:

■ Road and Bridge Precinct 1, $2,500 from hard top roads to culverts.

■ Justice of the Peace Precinct 2, $1,000 from training personnel to publication.

Jess Huff's email address is jess.huff@lufkindailynews.com.

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