Extreme growth in the area: Country approves extension into CR 381, which will be a 5-lane divided road south of Potranco’s new “luxury homes”

All commissioners and Judge Schuchart were present for the March 18 Commissioners Court meeting, which opened with an agreement approval with AARP which aims to help senior citizens find work in various businesses by working with HR departments. The agreement comes as part of the Senior Community Service Employment Program, which focuses on training and transitioning seniors into unsubsidized employment opportunities.
Change orders for the Medina County Annex project were approved, valued at $1922 and $765, related to flooring and aesthetic changes to the building.
The Medina County 9-1-1 District financial audit found that the accounting practices of the district were reflective of actuality and found no material discrepancies. Revenues were $417k and Expenses $375k for a net change in position of $231k at the end of FY 2019.
The 454th Special Court was established to meet mental health needs and improve outcomes for clients on probation. A mental health counselor is provided to help them find jobs, abide by parole requirements, stay on their medications and other assistance as needed.
A $35 donation was accepted from John & Barbara Batot for the benefit of Animal Control.
Watson Consoles’ bid for 4 dispatcher consoles was approved, totaling $83k. These consoles consist of cubicle desks with 8 displays per dispatcher and numerous connection options for additional technology that may become necessary in the future.
Cintas submitted a renewal bid for floor mats, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, bathroom supplies and uniforms for the Devine Annex, which was approved. Because the bid is itemized, the monthly total will depend on usage of items like bathroom paper towels, air freshener and others; this bid was submitted because their rates are increasing soon and this allows the county to extend current rates.
A fire alarm testing service contract was approved through Beck with Electronic Engineering Co. for $684 per year, to inspect control and transmitter boxes, smoke alarms and batteries in the old jail building.
A Xerox copier/scanner/fax machine lease for was approved for a monthly cost of $190.
Preliminary approval was given for the Redbird Ranch subdivision phase 2 in Pct. 2 (Pape-Dawson Engineers), though Commissioner Sittre expressed concern with having Pape-Dawson perform both the review and initial planning of the project. His preference is to use the Medina County engineer for review of the 15-year project. The property had previously been under San Antonio Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) and as such they would have provided engineering review if the property were still in ETJ.
Preliminary approval was given for Units 3 & 5 of Portranco Oaks and Units 14A, 15A & 16A of Hunters Ranch, which includes an extension to CR 381. MTR Engineers is looking to get their approvals and begin utilities construction in one month. CR381 will be a 5-lane divided road coming south of Portranco Road, and Sittre described potential for further development to take it all the way to HWY 90 in coming years. The road will service 850-950 houses under the development plan. Precinct 2 has had extreme growth in the Northeast corner of Medina County, with huge emphasis on more and more houses. Though there has been “luxury” development, prices for rentals and homes have disproportionately ballooned in the Castroville area. When I was perusing apartments there recently, single bedroom apartments were going for $950 per month plus utilities. It will not be long before this burgeoning growth results in financial pains for long-time residents of the county and a lack of sustainable job opportunity for young adults.
By Kyle G. Saathoff
Staff Writer