On January 27th, 2022 the Medina County Commissioners Court met for their final meeting of the month, approving a financial assistance award from US Department of Commerce for Economic Adjustment Assistant for a Medina County Broadband project, an annual contribution request from the Medina Senior Center and the discussion on the potential creation of two Public Improvement Districts. Commissioners Jerry Beck, David Lynch, Larry Sittre and Timothy Neuman were all present alongside County Judge Chris Schuchart.
Public Improvement District Public Notices Approval
The 10 a.m. meeting began with a discussion on the authorization of publishing a notice for the public hearing regarding the possible creation of Public Improvement District Number One Tally Ho and Potranco West.
Regarding Tally Ho, before the public hearing notice could be approved, McCall, Parkhurt & Horton LLP Partner Clay Binford stepped up to recommend publishing the PID’s new budget of 35 million for it’s creation before moving forward.
“We want to make sure that the development agreements are fully negotiated and that we’re agreeing to terms that the county has imposed upon the development on meeting certain standards of criteria for our presentation,” Binford said. “We have the legal requirements for public notice, what we’re doing is having a public hearing and coming back multiple times…”
Tally Ho will be the first development of these two districts and currently is planned to be located off of 211.
Next Binford moved onto the 41-acre Potranco West, stating that the issue with this one was not cost transparency but time.
“…the law requires that we create the district within 6 months of the conduct of evidential public hearing and through no fault of anybody, we want to make sure that these agreements are in the appropriate format when we stand up to present them to you… but we’re gonna miss that deadline by two weeks.”
Binford explained that at their current rate of preparation they believe they may miss that deadline by two weeks, so to avoid rushing and presenting anything messy he said Parkhurt & Horton plan to take on this deadline in another way.
“We anticipate doing this in the second meeting of February and so our recommendation is instead of accelerating this in the time that we weren’t exactly ready to present the agreement just for me to meet a deadline, it’ll be easier for us to republish, conduct a public hearing and move forward from there.”
Approval For New Potential Traffic Enforcement Hire
After approving the public notices for both presented PID’s the court moved on, inviting Medina County Sheriff Randy Brown to step up and speak on their department’s desire to hire someone for traffic enforcement.
“This person will also do traffic enforcement, not just commercial, not just 18 wheeler vehicles and its going to be done on the state level, not the federal level…” Sheriff Brown said.
Brown further explained to the court that the candidate they had in mind has spent 33 years with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and had previously retired as a lieutenant at Commercial Vehicle Enforcement.
This new hire would mainly target County Roads and possibly some Farm to Market roads as well. Commissioner Timothy Neuman then spoke up to share his concerns about this new hire, specifically in relation to how their addition may affect truck drivers who primarily use those roads.
“I know we have problems with speedy drivers, we see it on 265, 271, everywhere,” Neuman said. “90% of it are guys just trying to get their next load. But I’ve heard so many times from drivers that ‘man, they got me for 1000 bucks or 100 bucks. That’s my whole paycheck all week.’ I know we need to enforce things, but we can’t put these guys out of business.”
The Sheriff answered back, further backing his proposal.
“…we’re not looking to put anybody out of business we’re trying to make the streets safer for everybody, including the truck drivers,” Sheriff Brown said.
Commissioner Jerry Beck then added his own perspective on the situation.
“If this guy targets those problem areas and gets those outlaw truckers that go through the back roads to get away from the way stations then I don’t have a problem with that,” Beck said. “Our roads aren’t built to handle this type of traffic. I guess the main thing is they’re going to tear up is those curbs…so I don’t have a problem with somebody focusing on that.”
US Department of Commerce for Economic Adjustment Assistance – Medina Broadband Project
Approving the potential traffic enforcement hire, the court then moved to address the ratification of acceptance of Financial Assistance Award ID Number 08-79-05521 from US Department of Commerce for Economic Adjustment Assistant – Medina County Broadband project AACOG.
Claudia Moria, Regional Services Administrator for AACOG stepped up to lead the discussion with a more in-depth explanation of what was being planned for this project.
“As the judge said it’s been over a year since you (Medina County) submitted the application to the Economic Development Administration to do some broadband infrastructure here in Medina County,” Moria said. “In two particular areas: in Lytle and in Castroville.”
Moria recounted to the court that after a year of back and forth with the EDA for more information and detail on the project, Medina County was finally given the grant.
“And since then we’ve been working with the judges office to get them some of the documents they need to move forward… there are a couple of things that are pending right now. One is a form regarding the counties account in which you send the funds for reimbursement as the project goes forward and anything that comes up as a result of that will be just certification of expenses, certification of materials in order to do the construction part of this project.”
The total cost of the project is estimated to be $627,000, with the federal share of the cost being $500,000, while Medina County’s share is expected to be $127,000. The project is currently planning to cover about 400 households total in the Lakeshore area in Lytle, with 100 of those homes being covered somewhere near Castroville’s Davalos Lane.
“At this time we are waiting for the EDA to set up a meeting for the county and AACOG staff that are working on the project, so that we can do what they call an official kick-off,” Moria said. “Also since November, what AACOG has been working on is getting bids…in order to get a firm that’s going to be installing the broadband infrastructure.”
Judge Schuchart said that this broadband coverage will be achieved by putting fiber in the ground, giving those households included in the project the option to either pay for already existing towers or to switch to the fiber.
Approved Subdivision Plans
The final approval of Potranco Oaks Subdivision, Unit 3; Located in Precinct 2 off of Potranco Road, FM 1957, took place.With 29 residential lots, all construction was reported to have been recently completed, with utilities having all been installed, and all lots within the area having been pre-sold
The Master Development Plan for Megans Landing Subdivision; located in Precinct 2 off Potranco Road, FM 1957 was tabled as the court was still unsure about the quality of the water in that subdivision with plans to tackle the situation again once Commissioner Sittre met with MTR Engineers about it.
“The engineering firm with the package plan is supposed to be getting back with me in about three weeks,” Commissioner Sittre said.
Lastly the preliminary approval of the Rosenburg Acres Subdivision; located in Precinct 3 off of CR 641 was put into motion. A 1-acre, 1 lot subdivision off of CR 641, this subdivision will be using Yancey water and sewer.
Approval of an easement Agreement for access and parking behind the building located at 203 S Teel Dr., Devine
The potential approval of the easement agreement for access and parking behind the building located at 203 S Teel Dr., Devine was tabled for a later date.
Judge Chris Schuchart explained the situation to the court.
“…because the county, when you give an easement to somebody, it’s almost like we’re selling land and therefore we still have to go through that process,” Judge Schuchart said.
Authorization to purchase additional voting equipment/supplies from HART Intercivic
Next the court approved the purchase of 7 portable carriers with thermal printers to support mobile voting on Verity Duo for $10,500.00 and the purchase of 30 flash memory card/audio cards for use with Verity devices for a total $2,040.00 from Hart Intercivic.
Approval of annual contribution request from Medina Senior Center
Moving on to speak about the annual contribution request from the Medina Senior Center, the amount of $50,000 was approved for the Center.
Usually expected to make these requests in October, it was delayed and sent to January 18th, 2022 in the form of an email reaching out to Judge Schuchart for help.
“I am humbly requesting a grant of $50,000.00 on behalf of the Medina Senior Center, Inc.,” Sonya Toalson, Executive Director Medina County Senior Center, Inc. said in this email. “Our organization continues to provide home-delivered meals to homebound persons in the county who are elderly and/or have a disability. Normally, these funds would be requested in adjacent to the Texas Department of Agriculture, Texans Feeding Texans Home Delivered Meals Grant Program. Unfortunately, this year I missed the deadline for submitting this grant. Due to recently approved legislation, a late submittal was not approved. Your continued support of our Program’s mission is vital more than ever.”
Bid acceptance and award for lease
Commissioners accepted and approved the bid from HANK Inc. for the lease of an approximately 0.500 acres tract out of a 2.59-acre tract off of HANK Drive. This will help add much-needed community foster homes in our county.
“If ya’ll recall we only lease 25 years, HANK has already got a building over there and this is to lease the land right next to it,” Judge Schuchart said. “…If you want, we can move to accept the HANK bidder so they can put another home in there.”
The is property located off of Hank Private Drive within the City of Hondo, Medina County, TX; a vacant lot adjacent to 1007 Avenue Y. This lease is set to last for no less than 25 years.
Acceptance of resignation from 911 Emergency Service Communications District Board of Directors
The court then moved on to immediately approve and accept the resignation of Dean Zinsmeyer and appoint Roland Deleon from 911 Emergency Service Communications District Board of Directors.
The request for the resignation explained that: ‘After more than 32 years on the Board of Managers of the Medina County 911 Board, “Dean” Zinsmeyer wants to resign. He, Polly Edlund, and Gilbert Rodriguez have recruited Roland DeLeon, the Fire Chief of the D’Hanis Volunteer Fire Department as a possible replacement with an appointment from Commissioner’s Court.’
Designating the east side of the Courthouse Annex
The court then moved to approve the designating of the east side of the Courthouse Annex, near the public bulletin board for the location for foreclosure/trustee sales. Shortly referencing the front of the old Medina County Courthouse as the old place for posting these sales notices, Judge Schuchart further clarified what he hoped for out of this approval.
“If ya’ll recall … we designated that board over there effective February 1st to be the district public notice board,” Judge Schuchart said. “In this motion I need it to be effective March 1st because we got to let those people who’ve already posted foreclosures over there to continue over there, while future posts of foreclosures will be posted over here.”
Approval of change orders
After approving the new placement of the sales notices and confirming the March 1st date, the court then finished off the meeting with the approval of several change orders for the Medina County Jail addition project. These change orders included items such as adding to furnish two additional 6” galv. bollards. Adding to form and place one 18’ long concrete flume and adding paint to bollards.
The total cost of these change orders came out to $6,088.82 overall.
By Christian Toler