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County OKs hires for Rental Assistance Program
The Hays County Commissioners Court approved an item to establish three temporary positions to assist with the Hays County COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program during Tuesday's meeting.
“There is a huge amount of federal help headed our way and this is just a key component in maximizing the resources ear marketed for this county,” Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra said.
In January 2021, the U.S. Treasury Department awarded a direct allocation to Hays County for an Emergency Rental Assistance Program. Hays County will use a portion of this allowable administrative fee to hire temporary staff to provide assistance to the Veteran's Administration Office to process veteran's applications, the Auditor's Office for processing all applications for payment and the Treasurer's Office for review and release of all payments related to the program.
The case worker, accounting associate and treasurer associate will start work April 1 to assist with the program.
In other business, due to vacancies, the commissioners voted to add a temporary part-time administrative assistant for the Veteran’s Administration Office, using funding from the Veteran’s Transportation Program.
The VA Office’s caseload has tripled since before the pandemic, and the additional position will help meet the higher demand and help with the rental assistance program.
They also awarded an RFQ for a General Consultant for Program Management of the Park Bond to HALFF Associates, Inc.
For Hays County Court at Law #3, the commissioners directed Judge Millie Thompson to work with the HR staff to create a uniformed job description for the Court Reporter positions.
For the requested Court Coordinator position for County Court at Law #3, pursuant to Chapter 74, Subchapter E of the Texas Government Code, a motion to relocate a vacant court coordinator position to report directly to Thompson was voted down.
“The individual who is currently helping me in court three has had a variety of personal issues, and was out yesterday, and if continues to be out, my court is going to screech to a halt,” said Thompson. “So this is a time sensitive matter. I respect that you all want to hear from all the judges and I think there is a good reason for it.”
Commissioners Lon Shell, Mark Jones and Walt Smith voted no because they said they needed to hear consensus among the three judges on the potential shift from all court coordinators being housed in the court administration office in County Court at Law #2. They requested the three judges have a meeting to discuss the possible action at the last commissioners court meeting, however, Thompson said she asked for a meeting and it was not held.
“Unfortunately, we are putting a third of our county court at law judicial system in a terrible disadvantage at this time,” Becerra said. “Thank you for fighting for that Judge Thompson.”
At the opening of the meeting, there was be a presentation regarding a planned expansion of the Wimberley Village Library. Faced with continuing growth in western Hays County, the Wimberley Village Library has began work for a 13,800 square foot expansion of their building.
The county will issue certificates of obligations, and the library will repay the funds through the sales tax revenue that the library receives.
The library has already committed $500,000 to the project through purchase of land, surveys, engineering studies and engaging a project manager and architect.
There was also a presentation from Hays County Judge’s Office’s Executive Assistant Anita Collina announcing the first meeting of the County Judge’s Mental Health Hospital Task Force on March 11.
“The common thread of this meeting was the passion to serve,” Collins said. “It transcended political ideology because everyone in our county is affected my mental health in one way or another.”
In the COVID-19 update, Emergency Services Director Mike Jones said the county has gotten down to 21,000 on the pre-registration list.
“The winter storm put us behind,” Jones said. “We’re still playing catch up with the doses we have available in the freezers. We just don't have the staff or the facilities to put out that many vaccines at once.”
He urged Hays County residents on the pre-registration list that have gotten vaccinated elsewhere, to please remove themselves from the list through a form at haysinformed.com.