Austin County will soon have new sets of eyes in the sky.

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.

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    1. Winner winner, chicken dinner! Just wait till the appraisal district jacks up the appraisal by the usual 15% per year and you go to the review board to dispute the valuation! Don’t be shocked when they produce a complete set of photos showing everything on your property!

  1. Four……Four……why spend only $2,750.00, when you can spend $11,000.00 instead?
    It is easy to spend tax dollars these days. Government can spend your money without even thinking about it. Besides that, nobody likes sharing. They can always raise your taxes when they run out of money too.

  2. How can using a drone for inspections will work in tight spaces and see if things are broke with a camera on a drone. Quality not that good to see cracks on bridges. I see them buying more cause the first four will be crashed and broke

    1. There is no such thing as “free grant money”. $2756.98 each in free grant money, then you pay to send 4 people to training class out of town for a week, then you pay for them to get them FAA certified and pay for continuing education. Let’s not forget batteries, repairs when they crash, and replacement cost when one gets lost. Oh, and when these are obsolete in 4 years, let’s buy 4 more at $8500 apiece.
      How many of those “free” MRAP’s that they were “ giving away” in Sealy a few years back running up and down the road? These drones are the same thing…

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