The Office of Rural Community Affairs will be moving from Alice to the rural community of Bishop after Nueces County Commissioners approved a lease to provide office space for the state agency.

ORCA has had a field office in the Jim Wells County Courthouse since 2004, but ORCA officials said in a letter to Nueces County Judge Loyd Neal that the state agency was requesting a relocation of that office to a county building in Bishop at 115 South Ash Ave. The building was formerly occupied by the Bishop Police Department.

Nueces County Commissioners unanimously approved the lease agreement with ORCA at an Aug. 20 meeting, but Precinct 4 Commissioner Chuck Cazalas abstained from the vote due to his continuing service for ORCA.

The agreement allows ORCA, which was created in 2001 by the Texas Legislature, to rent out 77 square feet of office space for an annual fee of $1. There is also no term limit to the lease.

The field office in question covers a 16 county area in the Coastal Bend and South Texas regions, while also managing 56 Texas Community Development Block Grant open contracts with communities and counties within the area.