At its regular meeting on October 12, County Commissioners Court heard a quarterly report from Todd Swift of the Texas Agrilife Extension Service that indicated that the Wild Game Dinner fund raiser for the Blanco County Youth Show Sale that was held on October 2, netted $60,000 that will go toward facility improvement and to the county’s youth at the Premium Auction Sale. 4-H youth and their parents were involved in making the event a success.
Mr. Swift reported that 225 persons attended the Conservation Expo that was held on September 11. Speakers addressed topics such as oak wilt, brush control, establishing native grass pastures and wildfire prevention.
On September 18, the Pedernales Wildlife Management Association held a meeting that was attended by 55 persons. They heard a program presented by Miles Phillips of College Station who addressed developing Agri-tourism in Blanco County.
Mr. Swift indicated that 14 youth are committed to a 4-H Vet Science project that is just getting started. When completed successfully, these young people will graduate as Certified Veterinary Assistants. This will help them find employment right out of high school.
Gretchen Sanders, also of the Texas Agrilife Extension Service, reported that sixty-six child safety seat inspections were conducted between September of 2009 and September of 2010 which resulted in a reported misuse rate of 100 percent.
She said that the proper use of child safety seats reduces the risk of injury and death, leading to reduced medical costs, avoidance of lost future earnings, and improved quality of life. These economic benefits are an estimated $1,974 per child age 0 to four and $2,318 per child age 4 to seven for new seats distributed, and $550 per child for seat misuse with an assumed 75% continued use.
Ms. Sanders reported that 66 seats were inspected. 100% were misused. 49 new seats were installed and 10 old seats were destroyed. Eight children arrived at the checkup unrestrained. All of those children that attended a child safety seat checkup left the event properly and safely restrained. 100 percent of the family members who participated were afterwards able to demonstrate the proper installation and use of their child safety seat. This program was made possible through a grant from Safe Kids and BCCP&FAB for a total of $4,306.
In other business, Commissioners determined that regular Court meetings would continue to be held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 9:00 a.m.
County Judge Bill Guthrie was designated as the Authorized Official and Program Director for the 2011 Indigent Defense Grant program. County Treasurer Camille Swift was designated as the Financial Officer for the program. Judge Guthrie was also authorized to sign the 2010 Homeland Security Sub-Recipient Agreement in the amount of $226,000.
By unanimous vote, Jared Koennecke was appointed to the Blanco County Child Welfare and Family Advocacy Board.
The Texas Association of Counties required that the Commissioners consider “all options” for retiree medical and prescription drug benefits plans for 2011 but then made available just one option to choose from. “In effect, the Association is canceling an old option and offering a new one,” said County Treasurer Camille Swift. “The current insurance plan will no longer be honored by TAC. There really are no options; we take what they offer.” She said, however, that the new plan will be somewhat less expensive and, in her opinion, will be a little better than the old plan. The Commissioners ratified the new plan for 2011.