JUDGE: What’s going on in Milam County
One thing about our county, there is always something going on here in Milam County. I try weekly to write an article on one subject, but sometimes I can’t. So, let’s look at a few of those things.
First, last week the commissioners court approved a “Permit Application for County Road Entrance.” While this may sound ominous, it’s not. It’s a common item that most Texas counties have. It’s used just as TxDOT uses their application for entrance to ensure that an entrance or driveway on a county road is installed in a safe manner. With so many new residents and businesses coming to Milam County, many are building driveways or property entrances in a manner that isn’t safe with poor sightlines for those pulling in or out. The commissioners court used several examples from other counties to create an unobtrusive document that is specific to Milam County and will help keep drivers safe.
Second, the Commissioners Court approved working out a budget amendment to reestablish the county’s Veteran Services Officer (VSO). The VSO was taken out of the budget by the previous Commissioners Court during last year’s budget process. Since that cut was made and prior to my taking office, I have received multiple calls from fellow veterans asking the county to reestablish this office. A vote to amend the budget will take place during the Feb. 27 Commissioners Court meeting thereby once again giving Milam County Veterans this well-earned resource.
Third, the Commissioners Court addressed animal services as well. Last year’s budget process saw $50,000 earmarked for animal services here in Milam County. During 2022, Milam County used $25,000 to help Casa McKibben with the foster care of stray and abandoned animals from the county. This year the Commissioners Court increased that contribution to $30,000. Milam County Touch of Love will receive the other $20,000 to help them with the spay and neutering program. This program is invaluable in helping to reduce the number of unwanted litters which greatly contributes to the animal control issue in Milam County. Later this year the county will be forming an Animal Service Panel to address the issues of a possible county animal shelter.
Fourth, we are still in the process of evaluating the damages resulting from the ice storm earlier this month. The good news is that the damage was not as bad as it could have been. But, we still need property and business owners to log in damages and help evaluate the situation to help us in the future. The site can be found at https://damage.tdem.texas.gov/. We are working through our After-Action Reviews and working with the state to identify areas where we can improve in the future and be better prepared.
Fifth, we had a good meeting of the Milam County Fire Chiefs Association last Wednesday. Representatives from six of the nine Milam County Volunteer Fire Departments were on hand. Lots of good issues were brought up from the most recent ice storm and we discussed ways to better coordinate between the local fire departments. We also discussed how the county can better aid the fire departments. These are some awesome folks volunteering to do a difficult job. If you’d like to help, please contact our office and we’ll be happy to get you in touch with the right people.
Lastly, as I reported a few weeks ago, we are still in the process of getting a camera system in place so we can return our commissioners court meetings back online. Now that we have made the decision to stay in the courthouse for the time being, we are in the process of acquiring a system to return our meetings online. We hope to be streaming in the next few months. In the meantime, come on by and join us. We meet on the second and fourth Mondays of the month at 10 a.m.