Austin County commissioners recently approved the purchase of four Yuneec Typhoon H Plus drones.
The drones, which are remote-controlled flying cameras, cost $2,756.98 each and were purchased with grant money from the Rebuild Texas Fund. They will be used by three of the four precincts.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Bobby Rinn stated at the meeting that he could not see a use for them and only agreed to vote for the purchase if his precinct’s drone went to the county’s emergency management office.
On the other hand, Precinct 4 Commissioner Chip Reed was thrilled about the new equipment because the county has to perform inspections under bridges and in hard-to-reach places, where an aerial resource could be useful.
County Judge Tim Lapham said the drones will only be used by licensed operators.