At the regularly scheduled meeting on November 13th of the Blanco County Commissioners, after payroll, official reports, outstanding bills, and minutes of prior meetings were read and approved, the commissioners heard a report given by Mark Mayfield, Executive Director, Texas Housing Foundation.
“The Texas Housing Foundation is a self-supporting organization,” Mayfield said proudly, “and we’ve been recognized as a leader. We’ve been chosen to participate in a web cast that the governor has earmarked some funds to make. We are, in fact, the only organization chosen to participate.”
Mayfield asked the court to reappoint Roy Ramirez as the Blanco County representative in his report, citing Ramirez’s actions. Other current members of the THF board are Clyde Griffin, from Marble Falls, and By Cloud, the Burnett County representative.
The Texas Housing Foundation provides a facility for the delivery of social and public health services called the Community Resource Center of Texas. Located in the T.Q. Brown Community Center in Marble Falls, the Community Resource Center (CRC) serves as a “one stop location” where qualified clients can quickly learn about, apply for, and, in many cases, receive services provided by government agencies and non-profit organizations.
Participating agencies at the CRC are:
2-1-1 Texas-United Way Capital Area; Area Agency on Aging of the Capital Area; ARCIL (Austin Resource Center for Independent Living); CARTS; Camp Agape Bereavement Camp for Children; CPS Kinship Caregiver Program; Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS); Department of State Health Services; Department of Health and Human Services Commission; Highland Lakes Habitat for Humanity; Highland Lakes Family Crisis Center; Highland Lakes SPCA; Hill Country Cat Control; K’Star Youth and Family Services; Literacy Council of the Highland Lakes; Prescription Assistance Program; Rural Capital of Texas Workforce Center; Texas Home Health; Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, Inc.; WBCO (Williamson-Burnet Counties Opportunities); Women’s Cancer Support Group; Youth Advocate Program; and public access to three computer stations are provided Monday-Friday, 8AM-5PM. For more information regarding the services of the CRC, call 830/693-0700. The CRC is located at 1016 Broadway, Marble Falls, TX 78654.
Commissioner Granberg reminded the court of the official Texas Recycles Day, occurring each year on November 15th. The theme “It All Comes Back to You” was highlighted in a press release Granberg shared with the court, written by the Recycling Alliance of Texas. This statewide program is supported by IESI and Keep Texas Beautiful. Visit www.texasrecyclesday.org or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information regarding the yearly event and for general information on the Recycling Alliance of Texas.
Before taking the vote on a 90-day burn ban, (approved November 13 and subsequently lifted for 72 hours beginning Thursday, November 29), Judge Guthrie commented that he has “received several calls regarding the dry grasses in the area.” Guthrie said that many in the ranging community had been asking for a burn ban to be considered.
While looking at a map, Guthrie also surmised that “most of the surrounding counties have already enforced a burn ban.” Commissioners Mauck (Pct. 3) and Wood (Pct. 1) both said that they’ve had people ask about a burn ban. Sheriff Elsbury, in attendance at the court, said “The people have been pretty careful around all this tall grass.” For additional information regarding burn bans, see http://tfsfrp.tamu.edu/wildfires/DecBan.png.
Consideration for an extended sick leave for Marilyn Mikes was discussed by the commissioners. County Clerk Karen Newman explained that Mikes has had extensive knee difficulties and will be having her second knee surgery performed earlier than expected due to what doctors call a “locking knee”. As Mikes has no more sick leave available to her right now, Newman asked the court for a 16-day sick leave extension. Judge Guthrie commented that “We’ve done this in the past for other employees.” The motion was made and approved to extend additional sick leave to Mikes.
Sheriff Elsbury asked the court to consider allowing Judge Guthrie to sign a new inter-governmental agreement with Comal County to house Blanco County prisoners, explaining to the court that he is “trying to line up other resources for the county.”
“We’d like to formalize it and have a contract in place,” Elsbury commented to the court. “We’ve been trying to use Kerrville, but fuel prices being what they are, it might be cheaper to use someone closer,” he said. The going rate for housing prisoners is $40-45 a day, according to Elsbury, but consideration is being given to paying $50 a day in order to diminish fuel costs. “We’ll do whatever is cheapest for the county overall,” Elsbury maintained. The motion to allow Comal County to be used as needed was made and approved by the court.
Before adjourning, the court considered giving Judge Guthrie the authorization to sign the 2007 Homeland Security Sub-Recipient Agreements. Guthrie pointed out to the court that “a million one” is set aside for ten counties to be used for “long term interoperability and radio equipment.”
Guthrie said, “There’s a real hole in the north end of our county. It’s possible that we can work something out in this grant cycle, but we are on a real short deadline on this, and we are in line for at least eight thousand for a generator.”
In the past, according to Guthrie, small grants have been given to the Fire Departments and the EMS through the Sub-Recipient Agreements. “They were small, but they helped,” Guthrie deduced.
“But things have changed,” continued Guthrie. “Some great big grants have been awarded to Caldwell and Bastrop Counties, so now we ought to be in line for more monies. There will be more than one grant given, but I don’t know how much the big ones will be,” Guthrie concluded. The motion to allow Guthrie to sign the agreements was approved.
The meeting adjourned.