Judge updates commissioners on multiple issues during meeting
Milam County Commissioners voted to take out a loan to fund the grant match for the renovations to the former hospital complex during a meeting Monday.
Commissioners voted unanimously to accept a bid from Citizens National Bank for a $2.5 million for a seven-year tax note. Citizens had the cheapest interest rate of the two bids that were returned. The county can refinance at any time.
Milam County Judge Steve Young said much of the note will be used to pay for the required grant match and unexpected expenses for renovations at the former hospital complex for use by the county as a new office space. Part of the money will also assist with renovations of the professional building on that property to house a vaccine clinic, which will also be paid with ARPA funds, along with the Milam County Health Department, and WIC offices.
Young also updated commissioners on the county’s ongoing discussions with AMR Ambulance Service.
He said a few steps have been taken to help alleviate issues with fulfilling their ambulance services contract in the county.
“We have made substantial progress with the ambulance issue,” Young said. “AMR is currently providing a roving paramedic to help alleviate the shortage of paramedics.
This individual is not tied to a specific ambulance and can travel quickly to a location without an ambulance. Upon arrival, the paramedic assesses the situation, and a decision is then made regarding the use of an ambulance.”
They have also began the use of telehealth or nurse navigation as a means to quickly assess if an ambulance is really needed.
Young updated the court about the possibility of American Statesman Glove Company building a facility in Rockdale.
He said he has met with Bill Hart, CEO of the company, to discuss training and filling the prospective jobs that will come to the county.
“We have partnered with Temple College to begin the process of developing training programs for some of the jobs,” Young said.
He said he has met with the Texas Workforce and Betty Russo of the Governor’s office to help with additional financial incentives that are potentially available to the new company.
“All of this to encourage the new company to come to Milam County,” he said. “While no decision has been made, the company does plan to make a decision on location by Nov. 1, 2021, and start construction in early 2022. The plan is to invest $775 million in the county and employ around 1,500 individuals. We will continue to do everything in our power to encourage the company to locate in our county.”
Young also updated commissioners on the Small Business Grant program in the county.
On July 26, 2021, the Milam County Commissioners Court approved a Small Business Grant program for small businesses in Milam County.
The grant program provides up to $10,000 for a qualified Milam County small business. The Court allowed $1 million of its American Rescue Plan Act funds for the program. To date, the county has received 150 applications and about 100 have been approved in the amount of $875,000.
In other business commissioners also: approved several election items, approved fees for the Sheriff’s Office and Constables, approved a lease agreement with Precinct 3 for an asphalt zipper, and approved bonuses for Milam County Health Department staff to be paid through grant funding.