I am sorry I keep writing about COVID-19 related items, but if you grow weary of hearing about it, you should know I am, too. The loss in revenue to the county (and it will affect our cities) because of the loss of sales tax revenue is significant and creates uncertainty in projecting our budget needs. I had an unprecedented “pre…pre…pre budget workshop” with the county commissioners because I think we cannot be too early with discussion and planning. The commissioners responded in a very positive way to the discussion and we had a lot of good input from everyone. We have such a fine group of commissioners and I appreciate them.
We have decided to expand the climate-controlled county records storage at the Juvenile School (JJAEP) and set up a larger modular school building for the Juvenile School. Jeff Thornton does an amazing job leading the operation. He is so easy to work with. This plan will save the county roughly $300,000 – meet our needs for a long time to come – and provide larger and better school facilities for the Juvenile needs. Commissioner Gillespie is leading this project and is doing an outstanding job.
We are getting our courts ready to be fully open on June 1. Planning for a safe environment is going to involve the court staff, the bailiffs and the judges. It looks like it is going well.
I submitted a request to Texas Department of Emergency Management for a COVID-19 grant to reimburse us for our many expenditures. It will be welcomed when it gets here. We have submitted the grant request to create a Public Defender Office. This state grant could save the county over a $1,000,000 over the next five years. And, we are about to submit a grant request for a county roads state grant for over $2,000,000. Rusty Prasifka and Robbie Hamby Denson have worked hard on these.
Quote of the week, “A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.” Barry Goldwater
Thanks for listening.
We want you to be proud of your County Government.
BOB HURLEY is the Atascosa County Judge. You may e-mail him at countyjudge@ atascosacounty.texas.gov.