At a special meeting of the Blanco County Commissioners Court on October 26, Betty Voights, Executive Director of the Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG) provided the Court with a “40th Anniversary Update”.
Ms. Voights reported that the CAPCOG is a voluntary organization of cities and counties that cannot enforce laws nor levy taxes but which promotes collaboration across boundaries, coordination among jurisdictions and economies of scale in program delivery. Blanco County belongs to one of 24 Councils of Government in Texas as designated by the governor.
The Councils of Government are funded by federal dollars, state dollars, membership dues and contracts for services with a total budget in Texas of 19 million dollars. The largest divisions of the COG are: the Area Agency on Aging, Community and Economic Development, Emergency Communications (911), Homeland Security, Regional Services, Regional Training Academies, and Administration, Finance and Operations.
Emergency Communications expend 45% of the overall budget. Plans are under weigh to upgrade the analog 911 system to digital which will allow the use of more high tech applications in order to more adequately respond to emergencies.
Aging Services take a 36% share of the budget and include such services as the delivery of meals, home repairs, homemaker assistance, and vision, dental and hearing assistance for those in need. Transportation to and from senior centers and medical facilities can also be provided. A falls prevention program is designed to help homeowners and caregivers to be aware of obstacles in the homes of the aged that can contribute to falls and resultant injuries
The CAPCOG Emergency Communications Division makes planning and technical assistance available to 32 public safety answering points. A regional plan for 911 services has been developed that includes the regular upgrading of computer and other technology equipment. It manages the infrastructure for region-wide 911 services and provides training for the telecommunicators.
Commissioner Granberg stated that without CAPCOG’s assistance, Blanco County would be unable to have its solid waste management program which generates about the same amount of monies as it expends. It has become self-sustaining.
Further information and details regarding CAPCOG can be obtained at www.capcog.org or by calling 512-916-6000.
In other business, Commissioners approved the schedule of official holidays for 2011 and declared the month of November, 2010, as “Official Home Care and Hospice Month.”
Commissioner Granberg was authorized to purchase a forklift using CAPCOG Solid Waste Grant funds to replace a 1974 model that has exceeded its usefulness.
A resolution was passed supporting the efforts of the Water Management Plan Revision Committee to update the water management plan of the Lower Colorado River Authority in order to meet future water supply demands. Commissioner Sultemeier stated that this effort is to “preserve our existing water—especially in Burnet County and the Highland Lakes area—because it has serious ramifications for us.”
Judge Guthrie reported progress on the building of the Courthouse, Annex and Jail facilities. “At the new Annex and Court facilities painting is being done, ceiling tile is being installed and the air conditioning is going in. There is a good chance that the new facilities will be presented to us as a Christmas present.”