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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Commissioners Court declares National Telecommunicators Week

The+Hays+County+Historic+Courthouse.

The Hays County Historic Courthouse.

The Hays County Commissioners Court began its April 13 meeting by adopting a proclamation recognizing April 11-17 as National Telecommunicators Week.
National Telecommunicators Week acknowledges the work emergency responders do to protect citizens across the county. The proclamation states “each dispatcher has exhibited compassion, understanding, dedication and professionalism during the performance of their job in the past year.”
Hays County Sheriff Gary Cutler provided remarks on the proclamation and says the work emergency telecommunicators do connects emergency response teams to assure callers that help is on the way.
“The dispatch center communicates at the Hays County Sheriff’s department is basically, I would say, the backbone…when citizens are calling, they’re the first ones they’re going to be in contact with. These ladies and gentlemen are doing a tremendous job,” Cutler says.
The Hays County Child Protective Board (HCCPB) presented the completed Remme Rainbow Room in a slideshow and thanked the court for its support in funding the project. The Remme Rainbow Room is a resource center available to Child Protective Services (CPS) caseworkers and supplies items such as backpacks, diapers and clothing.
Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe thanked the HCCPB for its dedication to supporting children who might be using its facilities due to neglect or mistreatment.
“Thank you all for the work that you do,” Ingalsbe says. “I know we have to be extremely difficult to deal with these types of situations and it’s unfortunate that we have to have these types of services, it’s also rewarding to know that we have so many who are willing to step up and volunteer and do the work that you all do.”
During the meeting’s COVID-19 updates, Hays County Emergency Services Office Director Mike Jones says 106,000 Hays County citizens have been vaccinated.
Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra says allowing private businesses to vaccinate citizens increases the county’s vaccination rate. He adds the county itself continues to distribute vaccines for free.
“We as the county, in the county-specific efforts, don’t charge a fee, don’t have any associated costs to it,” Becerra says. “I know that could be confusing in certain spaces, but I want to take this time, because I’ve had enough people bring it up to clarify that, no, vaccine is not for sale. No, you’re not being hustled by a fee for the distribution of it, but that is the private right, a private practice in some way shape, or form that has to administer a fee.”
Becerra assures while private practices can charge patients for COVID-19 vaccines or for an insurance co-pay, there are free options to receive the vaccine.
“I don’t want someone to say, ‘I don’t have $40, therefore I can’t get vaccinated.’ I want to make sure that folks understand that that is a possibility that is available to some people, but you can still go 100% free through the county,” Becerra says.
Jones also mentioned Emergency Services will implement initiatives to vaccinate citizens who are unable to leave their homes. He says on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12-4 p.m. those who are homebound can call 833-521-2766 to be vaccinated at home.
The commissioners approved out-of-state travel for Sgt. Juan Villarreal, Cpl. Benjamin Gieselman and Deputy Adam Krueger to attend the FEMA Field Force Operations and Bombing Prevention Awareness course from May 10-15 in Anniston, Alabama.
The submission of a grant application to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance for the FY2020 funding under the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) was also authorized by the commissioners.
The commissioners considered the adoption of Hays County employee personnel policy revisions after changes were made to areas such as employee insurance and compensation.
However, commissioners agreed to table the approval until next week’s meeting to conduct edits to the policy revisions. This was decided after the court agreed that clarification needed to be made to the policy regarding insurance coverage for employees who serve in the military.
The Countywide Operations Department budget of $20,000 was approved to cover a month’s worth of meals for COVID-19 vaccination site volunteers after the original budget was unable to cover all cost.
The Hays County Commissioners Court meets every Tuesday at 9 a.m. For more information visit its website.

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