Bexar County commissioners agree to help with water bill, raise county wages

Bexar County commissioners on Tuesday accredited the launch of a federally sponsored low-income family water help program.

The roughly $3.8 million program supported by COVID aid funds will run via subsequent March.

COVID-19 has destroyed the household’s revenue. The San Antonio Water System reported that on the finish of Might there have been 19,000 water prospects within the county with overdue payments.

County Financial and Group Improvement Government David Marques mentioned this system ought to be arrange via the SAWS system that identifies who’s eligible to obtain help.

“Our objective is to begin taking requests, and that is once more contingent on SAWS having the ability to get us into their system someday in July,” he mentioned.

The opposite water invoice contains 26 suburban cities within the province.

The county has already accredited tens of millions of federal aid {dollars} to assist residents with different emergency family prices for the reason that begin of the pandemic.

In one other measure, commissioners accredited a 5% pay increase for the county’s 5,000 workers attributable to inflation.

The pay enhance will seem beginning together with your paycheck on July 31. Some county retirees have additionally contacted commissioners to demand a cost-of-living adjustment for his or her pensions in the course of the subsequent finances cycle.

Attorneys for the Lawyer Normal’s workplace, similar to Andrew Fields, have additionally informed the Commissioners that they’re shedding prosecutors due to decrease wages.

“They go to civilian corporations. They go to different counties. And I’ve seen extra holidays prior to now few months and years than I’ve seen in my skilled life. In actual fact, I perceive we have misplaced 27 attorneys common prior to now six months now.”

District Lawyer Joe Gonzalez has requested commissioners to think about rising his workers’ salaries in the course of the subsequent finances cycle.

The pay enhance won’t go to elected officers or county administrator David Smith, who has a separate contract with the county.

Commissioners additionally accredited Tuesday a direct ban on the sale of fireworks which can be finned rockets or stick rockets as fire-prone situations stay.
for dehydration.

Hearth District Administrator Chris Lopez mentioned he’s involved about different aerial fireworks in the course of the Fourth of July, however the regulation doesn’t enable for additional motion.

“I get questions on mortars and these sorts of issues, proper now, with our statute, we won’t however at the least that provides us somewhat assist in that space,” he mentioned.

Half one million residents dwell within the county, the place many massive subdivisions assist pastures or different rural properties the place wildfires could also be attainable.

In different actions, commissioners accredited 140,000 hours of additional time pay for county jail employees via September. Whereas the retention price of custodians has improved, different components exacerbate staffing prices.

Instances of COVID-19 are rising once more, affecting employees, and Sheriff Javier Salazar mentioned 795 inmates ought to be held elsewhere, similar to in drug abuse or psychological well being services or in state prisons, however that they haven’t been arrested by the Legal Justice Division.

“Sadly, in Texas, we’ve got achieved a extremely poor job of constructing a psychological well being household. And we’ve got achieved a terrific job sadly, I say this tongue in cheek, to criminalize homelessness and psychological well being. Now we have achieved an overreliance on prisons in Texas to repair all our issues.”

Commissioner Rebecca Clay Flores mentioned the state ought to choose up the county’s additional time pay tab since they proceed to chop cash for psychological well being. The county spends tens of tens of millions of {dollars} in jail annually.

The commissioners additionally issued a proclamation recognizing the fiftieth anniversary of Somerset’s founding in southwest Bexar County. Its founders known as it Somerset, Kentucky. It grew up as an agricultural and cattle ranching group and later added oil manufacturing to its industries.

The commissioners additionally launched an announcement honoring native boxer Jesse “Pam” Rodriguez, the WBC tremendous flyweight champion, just lately on the age of twenty-two.