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

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

The roughly $3.8 million program supported by COVID reduction funds will run by means of subsequent March.

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

County Financial and Group Improvement Govt David Marques mentioned this system must be arrange by means of the SAWS system that identifies who’s eligible to obtain help.

“Our aim 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 permitted hundreds of thousands of federal reduction {dollars} to assist residents with different emergency family prices for the reason that begin of the pandemic.

In one other measure, commissioners permitted a 5% pay elevate for the county’s 5,000 staff on account of inflation.

The pay enhance will seem beginning along 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 throughout the subsequent price range cycle.

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

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

District Lawyer Joe Gonzalez has requested commissioners to contemplate rising his staff’ salaries throughout the subsequent price range cycle.

The pay enhance is not going to go to elected officers or county administrator David Smith, who has a separate contract with the county.

Commissioners additionally permitted Tuesday a direct ban on the sale of fireworks which are finned rockets or stick rockets as fire-prone circumstances stay.
for dehydration.

Hearth District Administrator Chris Lopez mentioned he’s involved about different aerial fireworks throughout the Fourth of July, however the legislation 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 offers us somewhat assist in that space,” he mentioned.

Half 1,000,000 residents stay within the county, the place many giant subdivisions assist pastures or different rural properties the place wildfires could also be potential.

In different actions, commissioners permitted 140,000 hours of extra time pay for county jail staff by means of September. Whereas the retention charge of custodians has improved, different components exacerbate staffing prices.

Instances of COVID-19 are rising once more, affecting workers, and Sheriff Javier Salazar mentioned 795 inmates must be held elsewhere, reminiscent of 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 accomplished a very poor job of constructing a psychological well being household. And we’ve got accomplished a terrific job sadly, I say this tongue in cheek, to criminalize homelessness and psychological well being. We’ve accomplished an overreliance on prisons in Texas to repair all our issues.”

Commissioner Rebecca Clay Flores mentioned the state ought to decide up the county’s extra time pay tab since they proceed to chop cash for psychological well being. The county spends tens of hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in jail every year.

The commissioners additionally issued a proclamation recognizing the fiftieth anniversary of Somerset’s founding in southwest Bexar County. Its founders referred to as it Somerset, Kentucky. It grew up as an agricultural and cattle ranching neighborhood 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, not too long ago on the age of twenty-two.