Bexar County commissioners agree to help with water bill, raise county wages

Bexar County commissioners on Tuesday accredited the launch of a federally sponsored low-income family water help program.

The roughly $3.8 million program supported by COVID reduction funds will run by way of subsequent March.

COVID-19 has destroyed the household’s earnings. The San Antonio Water System reported that on the finish of Could there have been 19,000 water prospects within the county with overdue payments.

County Financial and Group Improvement Govt David Marques mentioned this system ought to be arrange by way of the SAWS system that identifies who’s eligible to obtain help.

“Our purpose is to begin taking requests, and that is once more contingent on SAWS with the ability to get us into their system someday in July,” he mentioned.

The opposite water invoice consists of 26 suburban cities within the province.

The county has already accredited tens of millions of federal reduction {dollars} to assist residents with different emergency family prices because the begin of the pandemic.

In one other measure, commissioners accredited a 5% pay elevate for the county’s 5,000 workers attributable to inflation.

The pay improve will seem beginning together with your paycheck on July 31. Some county retirees have additionally contacted commissioners to demand a cost-of-living adjustment for his or her pensions through the subsequent finances cycle.

Attorneys for the Lawyer Common’s workplace, reminiscent of Andrew Fields, have additionally instructed the Commissioners that they’re shedding prosecutors due to decrease wages.

“They go to civilian corporations. They go to different counties. And I’ve seen extra holidays previously few months and years than I’ve seen in my skilled life. In actual fact, I perceive we have misplaced 27 attorneys basic previously six months now.”

District Lawyer Joe Gonzalez has requested commissioners to think about rising his workers’ salaries through the subsequent finances cycle.

The pay improve is not going to go to elected officers or county administrator David Smith, who has a separate contract with the county.

Commissioners additionally accredited Tuesday a direct ban on the sale of fireworks which might be finned rockets or stick rockets as fire-prone situations stay.
for dehydration.

Hearth District Administrator Chris Lopez mentioned he’s involved about different aerial fireworks through the Fourth of July, however the regulation doesn’t permit for additional motion.

“I get questions on mortars and these sorts of issues, proper now, with our statute, we will not however at the least that provides us just a little assist in that space,” he mentioned.

Half one million residents stay within the county, the place many massive subdivisions assist pastures or different rural properties the place wildfires could also be doable.

In different actions, commissioners accredited 140,000 hours of time beyond regulation pay for county jail employees by way of September. Whereas the retention price of custodians has improved, different components exacerbate staffing prices.

Circumstances of COVID-19 are rising once more, affecting employees, and Sheriff Javier Salazar mentioned 795 inmates ought to be held elsewhere, reminiscent of in drug abuse or psychological well being amenities or in state prisons, however they haven’t been arrested by the Felony Justice Division.

“Sadly, in Texas, we have now achieved a very poor job of constructing a psychological well being household. And we have now achieved an amazing job sadly, I say this tongue in cheek, to criminalize homelessness and psychological well being. We have now achieved an overreliance on prisons in Texas to repair all our issues.”

Commissioner Rebecca Clay Flores mentioned the state ought to choose up the county’s time beyond regulation pay tab since they proceed to chop cash for psychological well being. The county spends tens of tens of millions of {dollars} in jail every year.

The commissioners additionally issued a proclamation recognizing the fiftieth anniversary of Somerset’s founding in southwest Bexar County. Its founders known as it Somerset, Kentucky. It grew up as an agricultural and cattle ranching group and later added oil manufacturing to its industries.

The commissioners additionally launched an announcement honoring native boxer Jesse “Pam” Rodriguez, the WBC tremendous flyweight champion, not too long ago on the age of twenty-two.