City, county leaders talk shared items
Staff and officials from Gillespie County and the City of Fredericksburg met Monday morning to discuss department budgets, the animal shelter and project updates.
Communication was the reason behind the joint meeting, and no votes were taken.
“We are involved in jointly funding so many services for our citizens with the city that it is imperative that we maintain a good relationship between the two governmental entities,” Gillespie County Judge Mark Stroeher said. “The more cost effective it is for our citizens, we can avoid duplication of facilities, personnel, equipment, et cetera. That is beneficial for everyone.”
Budgets that affect both entities and include shared expenses include the Health Department, Emergency Management, Fire Departments, EMS, Law Enforcement Center (LEC) and the Consolidated Dispatch Center.
“There were no major concerns at this time; however, the budget workshops are still in progress for both the county and city,” County Commissioner, Pct. 4, Donnie Schuch said.
City Manager Kent Myers said the animal shelter will open in September, and officials discussed the possibility of the county paying for some of the operating costs.
“We have a budget next year to operate the facility at $45,000,” Myers said. “Police Chief Wetz presented information last year that about a third of the animals come from outside city limits, so we asked the county to fund one third of the cost of the animal shelter, or $15,000 for next year, and they seemed interested.”
Schuch said the Commissioners Court will need to further discuss this in upcoming budget workshops to make a final decision.
Myers provided an update on the city’s Oakcrest sports park plans, including the associated bond election for the project. He also provided an update on the relief route.
“There is a Relief Route Task Force that has been meeting for several years, collecting data and meeting with a number of stakeholders for this project,” Schuch said. “The Texas Department of Transportation will be initiating a feasibility study to determine various solutions and make recommendations to our community for consideration.”
The issues concerning attainable housing and the community-wide Visioning Process are in progress and being addressed by various committees, Schuch added.
The update on the projects wasn’t to ask the county for funding, Myers said, it was simply to inform.
“In many respects, both entities serve the same citizens and it is our duty to make common sense decisions that benefit all of us,” Schuch said. “That needs to be our primary focus. The meeting was engaging but positive and, in my opinion, quite productive.”
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