Three commissioners (Jerry Beck of Pct. 4 was absent) and Judge Schuchart were present for the April 8th Commissioners Court meeting, which opened with presentation of this quarter’s service award. Pictured above left-to-right (with years of service) are Robert Juarez (20), David Lynch, Lucy Leyba (15), Judge Schuchart, Debbie Beadle, Larry Sittre (10), Ernest Flores (20), & Timothy Neuman (10). Not pictured are Jerry Beck (10) and Judge Kendrick (15).
Preliminary approval was given for Agape South subdivision in Pct. 4 near Morales Feed Lot southwest of Devine (Rothe & Assoc.) which is being proposed by Ernie Morales Sr. The development is 16 three-acre lots with individual 300-ft wells into the Carrizo aquifer, located along a private road build to county standards. MEC is the proposed electric provider and properties will need individual septic systems.
Preliminary approval was given for the Boehme Ranch subdivision (Rothe & Assoc.) in Pct. 2 between 466 & the Alsatian golf course, which is described as two connected parts: 54 one-acre lots with 60-ft frontages in a gated community of single-family homes, with a second gate around a 60-townhome retirement community. Average detached home value is estimated at over $300k.
A change order for the Medina County Annex project was approved, valued at $2,361 for curbs and concrete work. Commissioner David Lynch (Pct. 3) raised the point that there have been change orders for this project at most Commissioner’s Court meetings this year and had the following to say: “We pay an architect to design this and when they make an error, we pay the bill.” Though things will inevitably come up during any project, this seems to be a running theme for county projects and often looks like a case of “measure once, cut twice.”
Discussion was had concerning opportunities to expand rural broadband access in the county and the court determined that such access was one way to positively impact residents of Medina Co. Judge Schuchart explained that many new ‘luxury’ developments have superior fiber-optic internet access but that does not benefit the majority of rural households. Matching grants and collaboration with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) were two main ideas which were discussed.
Discussed in closed session and approved in open session, the court decided to split suspended Justice of the Peace Tomas Ramirez’ unpaid salary between the JPs who are covering his duties in his absence.
The county is soliciting sealed bids for a tractor with boom shredder for Pct. 3. Public comments will be heard at a later date for a speed limit reduction on CR 574 (Pct. 2). PR 6760 in Pct. 3 was accepted into the official mapping system.Final approval was given to vacate and replat Lots 48 & 49 of Red Wing estates subdivision, combining them into one lot (Pct. 1).
Due to repeated flooding issues on CR 271, Ron Benke and Cynthia Malone entered an agreement for the county to develop and maintain a trench that channels runoff water from the CR 271 easement onto Benke land and into a retention pond.
April 22nd meeting
All four commissioners were present for the April 22nd Commissioners Court meeting (Judge Schuchart absent), which opened with presentation of Commissioner Jerry Beck’s award to commemorate his 10 years of service to Precinct 4 (Pictured). Judge Glenn Klaus was present to receive an award as well on behalf of the Community Council of South-Central Texas for his service to that organization.
May 2021 was declared to be Community Action Month to recognize the work of Community Action. Their website describes the organization: “Community Action, Inc. of Central Texas (CAI) is a community based not for profit organization that has been in continuous operation since 1965 when it was established as part of this nation’s War On Poverty led by President Lyndon Baines Johnson.”
In recognition of the critical nature of our county’s valuable arable soil, and our dependence on a constant supply of clean water from the ground and lakes, the week of April 25 through May 2 was declared Soil and Water Stewardship Week. This is a fantastic time to reflect on how our individual and collective actions impact the health and condition of our soil and water. Every substance we allow to get into our waterways (think of runoff from your over-fertilized lawn) and soil (ever notice how much litter there is on our county roads?) is wasting away at these valuable and essential resources. Next time you think about flicking a cigarette butt out the car window, consider how your pollution will not disappear and will affect your children and grandchildren for decades and centuries to come.
Final approval was given for two more plats in phase 2 of the Redbird Ranch Subdivision in Pct. 2 (Pape Dawson Engineers) near Potranco & 211. “This is the largest subdivision to ever come to Medina County,” stated Larry Sittre when the plans had been presented. This is a continuation of the Redbird Ranch project in Northeast Medina County. Included in the plans are plots for schools, all private roads and a specific emphasis was given to the fact that it is wholly under the jurisdiction of Medina County (previous projects had been under the San Antonio ETJ- Extra Territorial Jurisdiction).
The annual road report found that it will cost an estimated $1.75 million to maintain all 345 miles of county roads in Precinct 1 for the next fiscal year.
Preliminary approval was given for the Dancing Bear Ranch Lakes Estates subdivision in Pct. 1 off of FM 1283.
A grant application was approved for the Indigent Defense Improvement grant, which goes to hire lawyers for the accused who cannot afford their own. Commissioner Beck commented that this “just another one of those unfunded mandates.” The county has to shoulder the cost of the provided legal defense, but higher levels of government are the ones who require the ‘free’ legal counsel. Cost to the county in 2022 is estimated at $33k.
A 3-year contract renewal for lock & door inspection and servicing was awarded to Integrity Steel Works. The contract is for 2 service visits to the jail annually and costs $4800 per visit to service approximately 52 doors.
By Kyle G. Saathoff