Wharton County Commissioners Court held its regularly-scheduled meeting at 9:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 22 to provide winter storm and COVID-19 updates, as well as discuss and approve posted agenda items.
The court approved a request from the Chapter 23 Son’s of the Republic of Texas for Proclamation #21-05, designating March 2, 2021 as a day to celebrate and remember Texas Independence Day in Wharton County.
Wharton County Judge Phillip Spenrath announced that full-time county employees will be paid as described under its personnel policy, (Sec. 8 — Emergency Duty) for office closures due to last week’s arctic storm.
During the COVID-19 update, Wharton County Office of Emergency Management Coordinator Andy Kirkland announced that the area will be receiving bottled water.
As to when the shipment would arrive, Kirkland could not specify in confidence.
“A few moments ago, they called us to see if they could fly this giant airplane in the Wharton Regional Airport,” Kirkland said. “The plane is larger than we can handle. Hopefully, they will drop it off in Victoria. We’re still working on whether they bring it to us or if we have to go get it.”
When the shipment does arrive, county officials are working on a plan to distribute to all county cities and rural communities.
Boling remains the only area under a boil water notice.
Spenrath acknowledged the workload and dedication of Kirkland and assistant coordinator Debbie Cenko, saying, “I will tell you, commissioners, we are going to have to make that position full-time at some point.”
“[Cenko and Kirkland] are getting worn out. [They] are working seven days a week; we appreciate everything [they] are doing.”
The judge also announced the area’s hospitalization rate has and has remained below 15% for seven consecutive days, which lifted Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-32.
“Last week, restaurants were able to go back to 75% [capacity], bars were able to reopen, and elective surgeries were able to be scheduled,” Spenrath told the court. “Our current hospitalization rate is 12.11%.”
County-wide COVID-19 testing will be held this Thursday, Feb. 25 at the Wharton Civic Center.
Agenda items approved by the court included:
Commissioners approved an Intergovernmental Memorandum of Understanding with the cities of Wharton, El Campo and East Bernard to update the current Hazard Mitigation Plan.
Lynn Engineering LLC dba John D. Mercer & Associates was approved as the engineering service for TxCDBG Projects Contract No. 7220500, which is a grant to supply Louise with sanitary sewer services.
Pct. 2 Commissioner Bud Graves sought approval for an agreement with Verizon Connect, providing GPS tracking systems for each of the precinct’s vehicles. This would cost the county $221.40 per month.
The county’s depository contract with Prosperity Bank was approved to be extended for an additional two years.
The court approved to ratify a grant for the Wharton County District Attorney’s Office Victim’s Assistance Coordinator. Any costs outside of the grant would be covered by the offices’ forfeiture funds.
To view the meeting in its entirety and to stay up-to-date on Wharton County Commissioners Court, visit The County Gin on Facebook.