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Hays County, COVID-19, vaccine hub, vaccine distribution, rental assistance

Daily Record file photo

County working on vaccine distribution hub

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Hays County is in the planning phase of creating a vaccine “hub” model alongside Seton Hospital and other local partners with the goal of becoming more efficient with COVID-19 vaccine distribution, according to Hays County Emergency Management Coordinator Alex Villalobos. 

By creating a larger group, Hays County expects to be able to advocate for larger numbers of the vaccine and to distribute them in a more centralized manner. 

According to Villalobos, the hub model ran a trial in Austin with just over 10,000 vaccines distributed in a short period of time. They found the largest issue was inputting data into the vaccine computer data system, a problem they are looking to mitigate.

In another COVID-19 response item, the commissioners moved quickly to authorize the county submission of an application for rental assistance from the U.S. Department of Treasury, upon notification that they were eligible to apply. 

The treasury grant application which was due Tuesday, will not require any matching funds from the county.

In other business, the commissioners approved the selection of Cobb, Fendley & Associates, Inc. to provide utility coordination services for the Hillside Terrace Safety Improvements project in Precinct 2. They also approved the selection of LJA, Inc. to provide right-of-way acquisition services for the same project. 

“It will be the connecting road for the Buda Bypass,” Commissioner Mark Jones said. “We either need to reconstruct this road or if we don’t do this now, it's in a place where we are going to have to do a lot of maintenance on it.”

In the Tuesday meeting the commissioners voted unanimously to modify the first task order of their conservation research partnership with Texas State University.

Task Order No. 1, or the Blanco “No Discharge” study was first approved on Nov. 17, 2020 as part of the Master Interlocal Agreement between Hays County and the university.

Protesting the application by the City of Blanco to discharge wastewater into the Blanco River is an important issue to all county residents downstream all the way from Wimberley to San Marcos, according to Commissioner Lon Shell. This project serves as a way to find alternatives to meet the City of Blanco’s need and protect the groundwater.

The county and the university have decided to advertise and formally procure the work. The modifications that were approved were to remove a reference to a specific firm and to extend the timeline for the work to be completed by April 30, 2021. 

The commissioners voted to execute a supplemental work authorization (SWA) for Binkley & Barfield, Inc Utility Coordination Services on the Old Bastrop (CR266) project as part of the 2016 Road Bond Program.

The SWA proposes to add $28K to the authorized amount of $58K and it will not affect the previously approved contract compensation cap of $150K. The SWA will allow for the increase in the number of utilities in conflict from four to nine as well as increase the number of utility coordination meetings from 10 to 20.

They also approved the renewal of an Interlocal application with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) for the Immunization/Locals Program FY21 in the amount of $192K.

The contract with DSHS is to support the Immunization Program for the Hays County Health Department.

San Marcos Record

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