Local businesses receive $730K in grants after oversight



Commissioner Mark Gillespie, Pct. 1, member of the BAGS committee, expressed his apologies for not catching the miscalculations the first time around. Commissioner Stuart Knowlton, Pct. 2, who recused himself from the Sept. 27 vote due to a conflict of interest, seconded the motion on Nov. 8 to award the grand total of $730,169 in grants to the 27 businesses as presented. Money for the BAGS program was alloted by Commissioners Court from the county’s funds received through the American Rescue Plan, therefore, no county revenue or taxpayer monies was being used for the program. REBECCA PESQUEDA | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

Commissioner Mark Gillespie, Pct. 1, member of the BAGS committee, expressed his apologies for not catching the miscalculations the first time around. Commissioner Stuart Knowlton, Pct. 2, who recused himself from the Sept. 27 vote due to a conflict of interest, seconded the motion on Nov. 8 to award the grand total of $730,169 in grants to the 27 businesses as presented. Money for the BAGS program was alloted by Commissioners Court from the county’s funds received through the American Rescue Plan, therefore, no county revenue or taxpayer monies was being used for the program. REBECCA PESQUEDA | PLEASANTON EXPRESS

The initial awarding of $998,275 in grants for local businesses through the Businesses of Atascosa Grant and Support (BAGS) program was rescinded on Monday due to an oversight by the BAGS committee.. After recalculations, Commissioners Court awarded a grant total of $730,169 to 27 local businesses who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

“There were some miscalculations that didn’t get caught when we first brought it to approval, and as the commissioner on the committee, I will take the blame for it,” said Commissioner Mark Gillespie, Pct. 1, a member of the BAGS committee, which is headed up by Rusty Prasifka. “I made sure the committee met back with higher standards when we re-reviewed the applications. We had to get more information to better suit what we were looking for. Some of the businesses who were in the approval the first time around were not able to provide the forms needed. So, we did some eliminations and saved more money.”

At the Sept. 27 Commissioners Court meeting, the following 40 local businesses were initially awarded a grand total of $998,275 through BAGS: Twin Oaks RV Park, Twin Oaks Laser Engraving, NXS Oilfield Services, Atascosa Country Radio, Budget Host Inn, Traveling Notary Public, American Legion Post #436, Riata Cleaners, Jet Hose & Packing, Aaron’s Pizza, Volume, AC Valdez Trucking, Country Isle Real Estate, Shahan Real Estate, Safari Vista RV Park, Artrageous, Virginia’s Heads Up Salon, Mark Cox Concessions, City Cleaners, The Wood Shop, Diligent Employment Solutions, Charlotte Supply Company, El Castillo Restaurant, Kings Medicine, The Feed Pen, Hair by Tabitha, Eye Care for Texans, Rotary Club of Poteet, Grunt’s Grill, Main Nutrition, Lauren’s Deli, Pierce’s Auto & Truck Repair, Kinsel Ford, Henson Theaters Plestex, Bar K Icehouse, Rose Mary’s Main Trends Salon, Alvarado Electric, New Tactics, Inc. and Royal Frame Works.

On Nov. 8, that motion was rescinded by Commissioners Court to correct the oversight.

Commissioner Perez made the motion to approve the awarding of $730,169 in small business grants to the following 27 businesses: NXS Oilfield Services, Atascosa Country Radio, Budget Host Inn, Traveling Notary Public, Riata Cleaners, Jet Hose & Packing, Shahan Real Estate, Safari Vista RV Park, Artrageous, Virginia’s Heads Up Salon, Mark Cox Concessions, City Cleaners, Diligent Employment Solutions, Charlotte Supply Company, El Castillo Restaurant, Kings Medicine, The Feed Pen, Hair by Tabitha, Eye Care for Texans, Main Nutrition, Lauren’s Deli, Pierce’s Auto & Truck Repair, Kinsel Ford, Bar K Icehouse, Rose Mary’s Main Trends Salon, Alvarado Electric and Royal Frame Works.

Commissioner Knowlton seconded the motion with Commissioner Gillespie and Commissioner Riley voting in favor.

The businesses who were intially awarded funds but were removed American Legion #436, Aaron’s Pizza, Volume, AC Valdez Trucking, Country Isle Real Estate, The Wood Shop, Rotary Club of Poteet, Grunts Grill, Henson Theatre Plestex and New Tactics, Inc.

“Not one dollar of this funding is coming from county revenues of any kind, much less tax dollars,” said Judge Hurley.

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