Court adopts resolution for Global Opioid Settlement, approves allocation of ARPA funds

November 4th, 2021 the Medina County Commissioners Court meeting began at 9 a.m., involving discussions about the approval of new private roads, Medina County’s adoption of a resolution involving the Global Opioid Settlement and the approval of funds to help the Juvenile Probation Office purchase a new vehicle. Commissioners Jerry Beck, David Lynch, Larry Sittre and Tim Neuman were all present alongside County Judge Chris Schuchart.
Oak Meadows Final Approval Postponed Again
The meeting began with the final approval of Oak Meadows Subdivision Phase Two; located in Precinct 4 off of County Road 7711 being put on hold once again because fire safety issues within that subdivisions are still being worked on.
Court Adopts Resolution For Global Opioid Settlement
Next, the court discussed adoption of the resolution to adopt the allocation method for opioid settlement proceeds as set forth in the State of Texas, the Texas political Subdivisions Opioid Abatement Fund Council and Settlement Allocation Texas Term Sheet.
This item is referring to the Global Opioid Settlement, where Texas and many other states filed a lawsuit against the pharmaceutical distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson alongside opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson, for their claimed role in the opioid crisis. The overall settlement was found to be $26 billion dollars, with $1.5 billion going to the state of Texas.
“If y’all will recall, some time way back and by a narrow vote, we decided to join in this lawsuit…” County Judge Schuchart said. “This is saying the state of Texas has reached a settlement and I’m going to tell you it includes everybody. There’s a couple of big counties like Dallas County and Harris County who think it’s not enough for them, they want more.”
Judge Schuchart explained that their lawyer has advised for them to adopt this resolution and that every county involved will possibly be getting a portion of the money eventually gained from the settlement.
“This is a safe decision for us and probably going to get us about $80,000 or $90,000 dollars,” Judge Schuchart said.
Court Approved Allocation Of ARPA Funds
Closing a discussion started in October about the allocation of ARPA funds, the court approved that they will be allocating part of the 10 million the county will be receiving in funds to water and broadband providers.
“We’re going to initially provide 1.5 million to the broadband providers and we’re going to put 2 million toward the water providers,” Judge Schuchart said.
In response to this announcement, Bruce Alexander, Vice President of the Texas Rural Water association stood to represent Rural Water Systems and addressed the court.
“I wanna thank you for what you’re hopefully fixing to do on behalf of the eight water systems in Medina County,” Alexander said. “I talked with the judge on how we’d like to divide it up between the systems.”
Alexander explained to all present that money received from the county would be primarily put into generators and system improvements and assured the court that the services funded by this money will only be for services, facilities and infrastructure in Medina County.
“I’m gonna have all the water suppliers come meet with me to come talk about it once I have a contract as I will with the broadband people in what we approve broadband,” Judge Schuchart said.
Alexander also stated that had already sat down with the other water suppliers about the incoming money and based on how the numbers would look if it was approved, told them all to prepare projects based on that funding level to present back to the county. Schuchart followed him up by explaining that once a contract was drafted, that he would do the same with local broadband providers.
Acceptance Of Pattillo Audit Engagament Letter
When approving the acceptance of audit engagement letter from Pattillo, Brown & Hill LLP for conducting Juvenile probation single audit of grant year ended August 31st, 2021 Eduardo Lopez, Medina County Auditor, stepped up to lead this and several following discussions.
“It’s a single item for the juvenile probation grant,” Lopez said. “It will come out of our grant portion of money, but it’s an every other year required audit.”
Juvenile Probation Department Approved to purchase vehicle between $25,000 – $49,999
The department is currently looking for a vehicle around $30,000, a decision the court approved after a short discussion on the matter. Judge Schuchart headed the discussion by further detailing the office’s reasons for this request.

Check out these deals and click or tap for more from Chaparral Ford!

“They have those funds in their funding for grants, but currently they’re driving one of the sheriffs old cars,” Judge Schuchart said. “…and because we don’t have any local places to deliver juveniles, when we do have to deliver them they’re driving all over Texas to find places to put them. So they’d like to find a car that’s a little more reliable.”
Lopez added that the Juvenile Probation Office had received a grant from the Juvenile Probation grant program several years before and still have $25,000 left from that to help pay for this purchase.
“They plan to use all that money and then I think another $5,000,” Lopez said.
The court then moved to approve the ability to apply for a body worn camera program, non-annual grant with the criminal justice division; Sheriffs Department. This action will not give them any funds, but only the ability to apply for them.
Court Approves Sheriff’s Department To Apply For Grant
The court then moved to approve the ability to apply for a body worn camera program, non-annual grant with the criminal justice division; Sheriffs Department. This action will not give them any funds, but only the ability to apply for them.
Tyler Technologies Change Order
The court then moved to approve an InCode 10 Financials Change Order through Tyler Technologies.
Incode is an integrated Local Government Software created for financial, personnel management and utility billing provided to Medina County by Tyler Technologies, a company that offers software and services to local level governments.
Due to an error in the County’s operating pooled fund, Lopez requested an additional 40 hours, $4200 worth of project hours to help correct this mistake alongside with other potential issues. The funds used to pay for this extra time will not come from the Medina County General Fund, but costs will instead be split between admin fees and the County Treasurer.
“So this was about 40 hours of additional training that we requested and we got a lot solved,” Lopez said. “We got June bank rates done, we got most of July bank rates and those are the toughest ones because that’s when we first went live with the system (Incode).”
The description of the proposed Change Order stated, “Medina County, Texas would like additional project hours to work with a Tyler Implementation consultant to improve their knowledge and resolve discrepancies within Incode. This includes a missing cash amount of $112,226.60 in Medina’s operating pooled fund. They would also like to add missing funds and map them to the correct pooled funds and resolve other miscellaneous issues that come up during the time frame scheduled with the consultant.”
No Bids For New Precinct Work Trucks
There were no bids submitted for the potential purchase of a work truck for precinct #3 and precinct #2. Lopez continued this discussion, stating that Commissioner Lynch had actually received a quote for purchase of a truck but because it wasn’t a sealed bid it could not be taken, leaving the county with no bids and a different decision.
“So we went out for bids on that,” Lopez said. “We did the right process, we waited the two weeks and we didn’t get any bids. But I don’t think anyone wants to sell us anything, because I don’t think anyone has anything to sell. But by approving this exception y’all are able to purchase it even if it’s over the $50,000, because we’ve already done the bidding.”
Commissioner Larry Sittre agreed with the idea of voting for an exception on skipping the bidding process, further emphasizing this ‘no bids’ issue with his own experience in searching for a truck to purchase.
“I’ve been talking to my ‘ford-guy’ and he says he has nothing in the state of Texas in his inventory that I’m looking for…” Commissioner Sittre said. “There is not a truck available in Texas.”
Next, newly assigned private road 4100, 6729 in Precinct 3 and private road 7736 in Precinct 4 were approved into the official mapping system for the county.
TEAL Construction Payment and Bond Update
Judge Schuchart then gave an update on the Teal Construction progress, payment and bond concerning the construction of the Medina County Annex building.
“We’re not going to take action today because it’s pre-mature,” Judge Schuchart said. “But just to give y’all an update, this building is near substantial completion.
When speaking about the payment process, Schuchart explained that TEAL has around half a million dollar currently in retainage and that the county is planning to release $300,000 of that to the company soon.
“…then in the next meeting or two, we’re going to vote on releasing a bond,” Judge Schuchart said.
The court did not go into executive session.
By Christian Toler
News Correspondent