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Frio County commissioners approved a 2021-22 budget of $20,008,604, a total of $977,686 less than in the 20-21 fiscal year following a lengthy meeting of the court on Monday, September 13.
In the new budget, $13,731,480 goes into the general fund, $3,644,579 was allocated for road and bridge and $2,483,351 was alloted for roads. Commissioners also approved putting $149,194 into the interest and sinking budget. County judge Arnulfo Luna was the lone dissenting vote.
In other business, commissioners were given information on the Strategic Plan for Frio County by Alamo Area Council of Governments representative Claudia Mora. The no-cost plan, which has already been approved by the court, is funded by a CARES Act grant from the Economic Development Administration. It will create a ‘state of the county’ outline and develop goals and a mission statement for the county for economic development projects by February. The published plan is expected to be developed by May 2022.
Commissioners also elected to keep regular meetings on the second Monday of each month at 3 p.m.
The court also approved an agreement with Workforce Solutions Alamo and the county for a youth program in the county that will target 16-24-year old youths with ‘barriers’ such as being low-income, in the foster care system, on free or reduced meals, teen pregnancy, etc.
“The program allows these youths to gain work experience in high school jobs, government jobs, medical trades and in the education field,” WSA representative Lynn Thompson said. “The kids won’t be put in the situation of having to leave Frio County to work.
The program is at no cost to the county and provides up to 300 hours at $12 and hour.
Commissioners also approved of final guidelines for the Frio County Vaccine Incentive Program with amended stipulations that it begin this week.
Commissioner Jose Asuncion motioned to approve the item with an amendment that it begin on Tuesday, September 14. Payments would begin being disbursed October 1.
Funds for the incentive program would come via the federal American Relief Program, intended for COVID mitigation. Each resident who chooses to be vaccinated will receive $100.
Commissioners said that surveys have shown 14 percent of those unvaccinated would change their minds, equating to nearly 800 Frio County residents.
Frio County’s vaccination rate is at 49.86 percent as of September 10, up 1.52 percent from the previous week.