At its May 11 meeting, the Hays County Commissioners Court discussed changes to the 2016 Road Bond Program and approved upgrades for election voting equipment.
As part of the 2016 Road Bond Program, the court authorized a time extension on the Professional Services Agreement between Hays County and BGE, Inc. in order to make needed RM 12 safety improvements near the intersection of Mountain Crest and Skyline Drive.
The project was needed after safety issues occurred at the intersection of the roads. However, because they are State of Texas roads, Commissioner Lon Shell says the new designs will need to be built according to the state's standard before the project is approved.
“Our hope would be that we get a design that works for all of the neighbors, [and] the state agrees with it, and we usually try to leverage our dollars with federal dollars, federal transportation dollars that come through the capital area and metropolitan planning organization," Shell says. "With this type of project, we will try to fund that way. Get some improvements on paper to work with the state and get construction dollars, so they can improve what we consider to be a dangerous intersection."
Hays County Voting Administrator Jennifer Anderson visited the commissioners in order for the Elections Administration Office to upgrade to the Hart Verity Voting System and purchase the Hart Verity Duo Go for curbside voting. This upgrade would utilize the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) grant funds.
The Hart Verity Voting System is an upgraded system certified by the state and federal government. Anderson says the system would make the voting process more secure.
“It is important to note that the upgrades are certified the same way as the systems we initially purchased through the federal government and the state government," Anderson says. "This particular upgrade will update from Windows 7, which is what it was when we purchased the equipment, to Windows 10. It'll also upgrade some of the security features.”
As for the Hart Verity Duo Go for curbside voting, Anderson says the purchase was essential because none of the equipment Hays County had priorly possessed could perform curbside voting in the necessary manner.
Hays County Emergency Services Office Director Mike Jones says from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 22, CommuniCare on 2810 Dacy Lane in Kyle will administer vaccines. The clinic will also provide vaccines to children.
The Hays County ISD transportation building will distribute vaccines from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 14.
Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra says he looks forward to maximizing the number of vaccinated citizens and seeing the reduction of COVID-19 restrictions.
“We are staying on the pulse of everything from federal and state, and we continue to vaccinate with our public and private partners, and we have made great strides," Becerra says. "I am very grateful that we are starting to see the mask mandates modified; the rules from the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] on even indoor [regulations] now is starting to shift, and so, that is in great part because of the temperature of what is going on, the numbers coming in, etc."
The Hays County Commissioners Court meets every Tuesday at 9 a.m. For more information visit its website.