Mission Statement

Orange County Drainage District is committed to delivering efficient, responsive services which enhance the quality of life of our citizens. To develop and manage a system which will meet the present and long term requirements for drainage needs of Municipal, agricultural and industrial consumers within the District's boundaries, enhancing economic development throughout the District's area or jurisdiction. Orange County Drainage District is committed to maintaining fiscal responsibility, demonstrating accountability, and allocating resources in a fair and equitable manner.


History

Organized drainage in Orange County dates back to 1909 when the Orange County Navigation District was formed, but in the period between 1909 and 1931 drainage was only incidental to the Navigation District's primary function, which was improvement of the Sabine River shipping channel.

Drainage functions of the Navigation District were eventually taken away because it could not legally qualify for certain state and federal funds which were available for this purpose and could create some badly needed depression-time jobs. In order to qualify for these funds, the people of Orange County secured the passage in May, 1931 of a special act of the legislature. Taxpaying voters authorized the creation of the Orange County Conservation & Reclamation District in December, 1931. Boundaries of the district were made contiguous with the boundaries of Orange County.

The C&R District made major contributions as the local share of the cost of the Adams and Cow Bayou barge channels and the Little Cypress Bayou levee in Orange. The general nature of the proposed work that the C&R District did in those days was to clean out and shorten the bayou channels so that the drainage of the district may be improved, and such channels made more useful for navigation; to increase the navigability of the waterways in and adjacent to Orange County; to acquire and improve navigation facilities now existing; and to do all things necessary to the conservation and development of the natural resources of such district.

This broad authority and its potential for being useful in the future economic development of Orange County is one of the reasons for opposition to previous proposals that the C&R District be abolished by statute and a new agency with authority limited to drainage be created. Many people during this time period believed that the U.S. Government had assumed a lot of the responsibilities for keeping the shipping channels open, as well as the old Navigation District being abolished in 1955 allowing the creation of the Orange County Navigation and Port District.

A growing support base for the creation of a drainage only based agency prompted Commissioners Court in 1958 to select a 25 member countywide citizens committee to study the future of the C&R Districts drainage program. That committee, in a report dated December 10, 1958, was sharply critical of the way the C&R District was being run at the time, but did not recommend its abolition. However, even with legislative changes in 1959, it became clear in the early 1960s that a new direction was needed for the drainage needs of Orange County.

With Orange County fulfilling all necessary action, The Orange County Drainage District was created in 1963 during the 58th legislative session. During the fifty years since the creation of the Orange County Drainage District, there have been many changes and effective improvements. From a small building and a little half acre tract of land in the McLewis community, the OCDD has purchased adjoining property for a total of 5.7 acres. In 1998, the construction of a maintenance facility, with a GIS mapping department attached was completed. From older dated heavy equipment, OCDD now utilizes modern job specific equipment to meet the demands of growing property development.

In 2010, The Board of Directors began to discuss the need of a larger Office Facility including a Board meeting room to better serve the people of Orange County. After moving forward with design plans, construction began, and at the end of 2012, a beautiful 3,750 sq. ft. Office Facility and Board Room was completed. OCDD personnel continued the construction process by adding parking and fencing. This was completed in May, 2013. The new Office Facility was made Official at an Open House and Dedication for service to the tax payers of Orange County June 26, 2013.