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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

City Council seeks to improve COVID-19 testing capabilities

%28Left+to+right%29+San+Marcos+City+Council+members+Melissa+Derrick%2C+Saul+Gonzales%2C+Ed+Mihalkanin%2C+Mayor+Jane+Hughson%2C+Mark+Rockeymoore+and+Maxfield+Baker+review+a+proposal+at+a+city+council+meeting%2C+Tuesday%2C+Feb.+19%2C+2020%2C+at+San+Marcos+City+Hall.

(Left to right) San Marcos City Council members Melissa Derrick, Saul Gonzales, Ed Mihalkanin, Mayor Jane Hughson, Mark Rockeymoore and Maxfield Baker review a proposal at a city council meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2020, at San Marcos City Hall.

San Marcos City Council met for its biweekly meeting June 16 to redirect COVID-19 relief project funds to improving testing, provide funding for police department building additions and discuss Community Development Block Grant projects.
The council agreed the city needs improved testing capabilities, turning to the Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus Response program for funding.
The Texas State proposed project for constructing a portable COVID-19 collection station and staffing from Sept. 2020 to May 2021 was recommended to receive $105,530. The Council voted to defund this project and allocate the funds toward a future application to be made by city staff.
The resolution will seek to request a partnership in order to increase the efficiency of COVID-19 testing in the city. For example, City Manager Bert Lumbreras suggested partnering with Clinical Pathology Laboratories for faster test results.
The $105,530 will be held and dedicated to this potential action as city staff work on an application for the money. If the application falls through, the funds may be redirected back to Texas State’s COVID-19 collection station project.
The council approved the award of a construction contract to Trimbuilt Construction, Inc. for the Police Department Building Additions and Renovations Project, totaling $9,141,358. Councilmembers called for an amendment to the project by removing the plan to expand the shooting range for the purpose of patrol rifle practice. The movement failed at a three-to-three tie due to Councilmember Mark Rockeymoore’s absence during the vote. The council proceeded to pass the project in its entirety.
A discussion on a public statement opposing the recent death of George Floyd was postponed to the next council meeting in August to make time for a council work session on creating a resolution. Mayor Jane Hughson said her letter on the subject was not an official council statement, which will be discussed at the next meeting.
The council received a presentation on the Community Development Block Grant Entitlement Action Plan, a plan to distribute federal funds to various applicants for projects related to affordable housing, public services and public facilities. The projects that meet CDBG requirements and were recommended funds by the council are as follows:

  • Centro Cultural Hispano de San Marcos’s project: Making Centro More Accessible and Energy Efficient through Renovation. Recommended funds are $268,000.
  • Court Appointed Special Advocates’s project: Advocacy Services for Abused and Neglected Children. Recommended funds are $60,000.
  • Habitat for Humanity’s project: Housing Counseling for improving financial capability and confidence and preparation for successful homeownership. Recommended funds are $23,656.
  • Southside Community Center’s project: Owner-Occupied Home Rehabilitation. Recommended funds are $100,000.
  • City of San Marcos Community Initiatives and Code Enforcement’s project: The demolition of substandard or dangerous homes identified by code enforcement. Recommended funds are $125,000.
  • City of San Marcos Community Initiatives and Code Enforcement’s project: Repairs on substandard owner-occupied homes to remove code violations, safety hazards and unfit conditions. Recommended funds are $43,248.
  • City of San Marcos Community Initiatives’ project: Down payment and closing cost assistance for low- to moderate-income potential homeowners. Recommended funds are $84,000.
  • Technical assistance to funded programs is recommended to receive $144,000 of the total funds.

The total recommended funds for distribution as of June 16 is $847,904. The council will move to pass or deny these project plans in the next regular meeting.
San Marcos City Council meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. over Zoom; the meeting can be viewed on its website. The agenda can be accessed through the Agenda Center on the City of San Marcos website.

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