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County considers buying curbside voting equipment
The Hays County Commissioners Court will consider utilizing grant funding to purchase equipment to support curbside voting.
The commissioners will discuss authorizing the county’s elections administration office to use grant funding from the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) to purchase Hart Verity Duo Go for curbside voting and to upgrade the Hart Verity Voting System during Tuesday's meeting.
The county’s elections administrator has received authorization from CTCL to use the grant funding for the voting system upgrade and equipment purchase, according to the commissioners court agenda. Additionally, the system upgrade would put the Verity Election System to a Windows 10 Enterprise platform, which will ensure the voting system has the most recent software updates with enhanced functionality.
The Verity Duo Go system is a portable voting device which will allow for curbside and any inside or outside polling options to assist Hays County voters, the agenda packet states.
The system upgrade and voting equipment purchase will be fully grant funded and no county funds will be required.
In other business, the commissioners will consider authorizing the county judge to execute the third amendment to the interlocal agreement between Hays County and the City of San Marcos related to San Marcos’ Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone No. 5.
The third amendment to the San Marcos TIRZ No. 5 interlocal agreement reduces Hays County’s payment to the program from 70% to 25% of the tax increment for tax year 2021. This was also done in tax year 2020.
The county’s move comes after the San Marcos City Council supported an ordinance amending the project plan for the TIRZ No. 5, also known as the “Downtown TIRZ,” extending the city’s and the county’s reduced contribution rate of the tax increment deposited into the Tax Increment Fund from 70% to 25% for one additional year.
The decision was made during the COVID-19 pandemic to mitigate some of the financial impacts. One additional year was suggested help them through the challenging financial times.
The TIRZ No. 5 Board recently met on March 22 to discuss the property tax dedication to the TIRZ No. 5 projects. Due to both the significant property tax assessed valuation and the COVID financial emergency, the TIRZ No. 5 Board agreed to continue for 2021 Property tax dedication at 25% of both city and county property tax receipts for one additional year.
In the most recent quarterly investment report, there was a nearly $5 million decrease in pooled cash as a result in part by a $2 million land purchase made from the Downtown TIRZ fund.
The reduced contributions will save the city around $638K and Hays County around $422K.
In executive session, the commissioners will consult with counsel regarding the purchase, exchange, lease and value of real property associated with the Parks & Open Spaces Advisory Commission-recommended 2020 Parks and Open Space Bond Projects. They will also hold a deliberation regarding employment and duties of all individual positions within the Hays county Transportation Department.
Tuesday’s commissioners court meeting begins at 9 a.m. at the Hays County Historic Courthouse — 111 E. San Antonio St. — Room 301.