Medina County approves county-wide Hazard Mitigation Plan, uses COVID grant money to purchase Tek84 Intercept body scanner

The Medina County Commissioners Court continued to put safety first in their November 5 meeting last Thursday. In a fast paced meeting they approved agenda items for purchase and installation of safety equipment, approved a county wide Hazard Mitigation Plan, granted continued support to feed senior citizens, approved quotes to upgrade surveillance and communication equipment, moved forward on current building projects, awarded administrative and engineering service agreements for the 2021-2022 year, discussed budget reports and future plans for a growing county.
The court voted to accept a $251,000 grant from the Office of the Governor’s Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) for the purchase of the Tek84 Intercept Body Scanner. The new body scanner will be able to detect weapons and contraband hidden in body cavities and elsewhere on inmates and visitors. Unlike airport body scanners, these scanners use a low-level of x-rays transmitted through the body. They also approved the purchase of metal detectors for the county through the Office of the Justice 2020 Bulletproof Vest Program.
The commissioners agreed unanimously to continue their $50,000 grant support for the Medina Senior Center and their work to feed senior citizens for 2021-2022. This local grant serves to provide meals for seniors in need in the community. The program also receives funds from the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Texans Feeding Texans: Home-Delivered Meals Grant Program.
Keith Lutz, Medina County Emergency Management Coordinator (EMC) presented several agenda items involving building projects for the county, upgrades in security, technology and communications in county facilities and an adoption of a FEMA approved Hazard Mitigation Plan.
Lutz reported that the construction of the courthouse annex and jail expansion are both on schedule for projected completion dates. He affirmed that the front portion of the jail should be completed by the end of November and the back portion by the end of December. He also reported that, across the street, work on the new annex should be done by the end of April. He pointed out that move-in could be delayed because furniture for the building may not be procured until May. County Judge, Chris Schuchart, called for the furniture quotes to be ready for the next agenda.

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The court approved a quote from Alliance for Community Solutions for planned surveillance and security projects in the WIC, Health Unit and District Attorney’s office buildings. A quote from San Antonio Sound and Light was approved for video upgrades in the courtrooms located in the annex.
As the county EMC, Keith Lutz presented a resolution for approval of a Medina County, Texas Multi-Jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP). This FEMA approved plan will work to identify goals and actions to reduce or eliminate long-term risk to people and property from impacts of future hazards and disasters in the county. This approval of the plan will make the county eligible to apply for current open and future Hazard Mitigation Grants as they may come into existence. The resolution was approved.
The court then accepted and approved budget reports from the Sheriff’s Office. First, the Equitable Sharing Agreement and Certification detailing an ending funds balance for 2020 of $58,757.62 and $68,059 of funds spent for the year. They also presented the 2020 Chapter 59 Asset Forfeiture Report.
A request from Commissioner David Lynch, of Precinct 3, to modify the service agreement with the D’Hanis VFD was presented and approved. This agreement will allow the precinct to assist the department in hauling items they may need in the construction of a new 2 bay facility in the precinct.
For the replacement of lines, water treatment and storage in the county for 2021-2022 the court approved quotes from GrantWorks, Inc. of Austin, TX for administrative services and RESPEC of Castroville, TX for professional engineering services.
Larry Sittre, commissioner from Precinct 3 presented, and received approval for, a request for amendments to the Medina County Subdivision Rules and Regulations. He discussed the need to amend the regulations for lot sizes of 16,000 sq.ft. or less to include requirements for all new county as well as private roads to have a minimum surface of 36’ in order for all roads to be safely traveled by school district busses and other large vehicles. Sittre also pointed out the increase in building activity due to population growth and expansion in his area. He said his busy precinct would appreciate and accept all help from other districts on their behalf.
The meeting was adjourned, and the next meeting is set for November 19, 2020.
By Candace DeJesus