JUDGE: United States Senator John Cornyn comes to Milam County
On Monday, Feb. 21, 2022, I had the great honor of welcoming United States Senator John Cornyn to Milam County!
Senator Cornyn is a true gentleman and most knowledgeable and interested about the issues that we face in Milam County. To my knowledge, this is the first time the Senator has been to Milam County, and I am grateful to have his support for Milam County.
We toured the bitcoin mining operation at Whinstone where Chad Harris. CEO of Whinstone and Trystine Pafyer, Director of Communications for RIOT Blockchain explained the bitcoin mining process.
Currently, Whinstone/RIOT employs 180 individuals and has about 450 local contractors working at the site, with a $8.5 million annual payroll. Senator Cornyn got a good firsthand look at the entire operation and was duly impressed. We thank Chad and Trystine for being so transparent, and such great advocates for the bitcoin operation and for their unwavering support of Milam County.
Later we enjoyed a working lunch at the Thorndale Meat Market with Bell County Judge Dave Blackburn, Burleson County Judge Keith Schroeder, Falls County Judge Jay Elliott, Williamson County Commissioner Russ Boles and Milam County Sheriff Mike Clore. We thank Trey Felton for a great meal.
We discussed many of the issues we face in Milam County, including drugs and crime, mental health and the best use of American Rescue Plan Act funds (ARPA).
Mental Health is a huge issue in the County and I explained to the Senator that we recently received grant funding to partner with Central County Services to bring more mental health help to the County. Very soon a new office will open at the One Stop in Rockdale for counseling and other assistance.
In addition, for the first time we budgeted for and now have a “mental health” officer at the Sheriff’s office, which we are successfully using to alleviate these problems.
As you know, ARPA funds were allocated for COVID related issues. Recently, Senator Cornyn introduced a bill that was passed in the Senate that would allow counties to expand the way ARPA funds can be used. If the House passes the bill, a portion of the remaining $2.4 million of ARPA funding could be used on infrastructure as we prepare for the future growth of Milam County.
I am grateful for the support of Senator Cornyn and his positive impact on Milam County.