The Brownwood City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved up to $77,000 in American Rescue Plan Funds over a three-month span to assist in continued COVID-19 response focused on COVID-19 testing in a partnership between the Brownwood-Brown County Health Department and Hendrick Brownwood.
Both the Health Department and Hendrick feel there is a need for increased testing capacity. In addition, the need for timely and convenient access to post-positive treatment was identified. Individuals are seeking COVID treatment at the health department, local provider offices, and at urgent and emergency care locations. Often the timing of requesting and receiving care has been delayed resulting long waits in the ER, hospitalization, and additional complications.
Health Department staff has collaborated with the medical community to create a plan to coordinate a combined testing and treatment clinic. The objective of the clinic will be to identify those who are positive and provide immediate interventions at the same time and location. In the proposed plan, the Health Department would oversee testing operations and Hendrick Medical Center Brownwood would provide infusions and other preventative treatment.
The proposed location is a Hendrick facility in Brownwood. The Health Department would seek to find volunteers through the Medical Reserve Corps and other health partners. However, if volunteers are not available or sufficient to staff the testing center, medical and administrative staff would need to be hired.
Proposals of a $8,659 one-month plan, and $758,056 plan over 13 months were also presented. Due to the unpredictability of COVID spikes, Mayor Stephen Haynes expressed the desire for a shorter commitment. The three-month plan should help with the Health Department in their staff request, which is among the greatest concerns.
Lisa Dick with the Health Department also stated a grant is being pursued that would pay for the $76,705 it would cost the City out of its ARP funds. The same proposal will go before county commissioners in the future, at the same cost of $76,705 for three months.
Also Tuesday, the city council approved:
- $127,312 in proceeds from the sale of property to TxDOT located at the corner of Main Street and Austin Avenue to be used for the benefit of the Event Center project and placed into the Event Center Special Purpose Fund. On Aug. 19, the City of Brownwood sold approximately 0.0557 acres at the southeast corner of Main Street and Austin Avenue to TxDOT for their upcoming expansion of that intersection for $127,312.
- Approved the ordinance setting charges for fees, rentals, licenses and permits for the City of Brownwood for the 2021-22 fiscal year
- Approved the ordinance that sets rates for water, sewer, sanitation, and landfill services. The water consumption rate is being increased $.03 from $2.38 to $2.41 per 100 cubic feet. Outside city limits consumption rate is being increased from $3.08 to $3.12. A new proposed fee for the collection of wind turbines has been included at $1,000 per ton.
- Approved the City Budget of $36,558,387, an increase of 1.3% from the prior year. More information can be found at the City of Brownwood website.
- Approved the Tax Rate of .7317 cents per $100 valuation. This tax rate is a reduction of .0131 cents or 1.76% from the current tax rate of .7448 cents per $100 valuation. More information can be found at the City of Brownwood website.
- Approved a resolution declaring the houses located at 611 Sharp Street and 108 N. Greenleaf as surplus and authorize the donation of the 611 Sharp Street house to Greenleaf Cemetery. The 108 N. Greenleaf house will be sold with proceeds to be placed in the Event Center Special Purpose Fund.
- Approved a sealed bid of $22,491 by Emory Geye and Brandon Geye of Rising Star for the agricultural lease of land being approximately 833 acres located around the Brownwood Regional Airport. This will be a 3-year lease with an additional one-time 3-year renewal option.
- Ratified the appointments of Draco Miller to the Brownwood Housing Authority, as well as Christy Habekott, replacing Chira Carr. The term lasts two years.