Update from County Judge Steve Young
Message from County Judge Steve Young:
1. What a wee. In the last week we have endured record cold in Milam County with close to 200 continuous hours of freezing temperatures. In addition to the historic cold, we had precipitation and lots of it. Rain, sleet and snow. In some parts of the County, we received over 10 inches of snow. Farmers and ranchers have worked day and night to keep livestock alive, fed and watered. Cattle were lost due to the freezing temperatures. But we made it and below is the latest.
2. Many water lines and water pumps burst during the freeze. As the lines are repaired, contaminates get tin the water, which makes the water unfit for drinking. Rockdale, Cameron, Southwest Milam and other water suppliers all had bad leaks and while most are now repaired, drinking water must be boiled. Rockdale send in a sample of its water for a lab study late yesterday and it could be safe for drinking today. Others will send in samples soon. Stay tuned to KRXT, KMIL, The Cameron Herald and the Rockdale Reporter for the latest on when the water is safe to drink.
3. Bottled Water Arrived Yesterday: About 6:45 p.m. yesterday evening we received our first shipment of bottled water in Milam County from the Texas Department of Emergency Management. We received 20 pallets of water, which was unloaded and stored in Rockdale. Various schools and other entities received pallets of water as needed and more is on the way. In fact, we expect another shipment of 20 pallets in the next 24 hours. We thank our fine State Representative Col. Terry Wilson for being so diligent to ensure we got drinking water.
4. Disaster Declaration: Governor Abbott issued a disaster declaration effective February 12, 2021 for all 254 counties in Texas. As your County Judge, I also issued a disaster declaration for all of Milam County, effective February 12, 2021. Cameron, Rockdale and Thorndale have all filed disaster declarations as well. These pave the way for grants and loans.
Yesterday, President Biden also declared a disaster declaration for 77 counties in Texas, but it did not include Milam County. I have written Chief Nim Kidd of the Texas Department of Emergency Management asking that Milam County be included, and I will fight to make sure that Milam County is included. I am confident this will happen. Once a disaster is declared by the Federal Government small business loans and other grants are available to those adversely affected by the disaster. I will keep you posted.
5. Historic Grant Approved: Last year Milam County acquired the former Little River Hospital complex in Cameron, which consists of 8.5 acres of land, the former hospital building and two other buildings. We applied with the Economic Development Administration for a 4.7-million-dollar grant for renovation purposes. On Friday, our entire grant request was approved! This means the renovation of the complex can be done without using any Milam County tax dollars. I fought hard to get it so that our fine employees would have a nice place to work and that every citizen of the County could be proud of the County facilities. This is the single largest grant the County has ever received!
Tune in to KMIL and KRXT Monday, Feb. 22, 2021 at 11 a.m. for a special one hour County Judge show for all the details of the grant and the disaster declaration issues.
6. COVID-19 vaccinations: We plan to run vaccination clinics next week. We hope to run a large first round clinic on Tuesday and a 300 dose second round clinic on Thursday. Those who are to be vaccinated will be notified by phone of the time and place.
So far, Milam County has vaccinated almost 1,500 individuals and by the end of the week, almost 1,000 will have received a second round shot. In addition, Brookshire Brothers has administered over 400 first round vaccinations and more than 300 second round shots. Healthpoint and Wal-Mart are also administering the vaccinations.
We want every Milam County resident to get vaccinated! Please call 254 697 7000 or email Amy Guillen at email@example.com to get on the list.
7. COVID Testing: We will continue to provide free COVID testing in Milam County. We will test in Rockdale on Monday at the former Rockdale Hospital; in Milano on Wednesday at the Milano VFD; and in Cameron on Friday at the Cameron VFD. If you are a Milam County resident with COVID symptoms, come by for a free rapid test.
8. Thanks to the Volunteers: Throughout it all, we have been blessed in this fine County with so many angels! So many of you have done so much for your neighbors and for people you don’t know. This kind, supportive spirit is what makes this County such a great place to live, a place where we help each other. The list is almost endless, but just to name a few:
a. A warming station was set up at Bea’s Kitchen in Cameron at the beginning of the storm by Sheriff Chris White and manned by Blake Harrison, Colton White, Rene Mueck and many, many others.
b. The Rockdale PD and other PD’s delivered case after case of bottled water to those homebound without water, especially the elderly.
c. Pastors throughout the County delivered food and water to those in need, including all of the fine leaders of Rising Star Baptist Church.
d. Brett’s Backyard BBQ provided free hot meals to just about anyone.
e. Lee Parsley of lee’s landing provided free firewood to anyone.
Thanks to each and every citizen of this County for your help and support during this tough times. Together, we will make it!