The Schleicher County EMS is asking the county for more money in the 2023 budget. T.J. and Melissa Rodriguez were present for Monday morning’s commissioners court meeting on behalf of the EMS and to explain the service’s proposed budget.

The new numbers represent a $122,214 increase over the current year’s budget, brought on by the rising cost of fuel and medical supplies, the high percentage of indigent citizens as well as the need for fair/competitive compensation for the service’s employees.

The EMS staff is down to six volunteers, who receive stipends when they are on call or making ambulance runs, and two paid staff members, Melissa Rodriguez and Tammy Criswell. The two women have 39 years of experience between them.

The county receives, on average, $8,150.00 per month from the half-cent Health Services sales tax.

Melissa Rodriguez told the commissioners that the EMS is dedicated to serving the residents of the county, but noted that the EMS is in need of funding in order to stay viable moving forward.

When asked by Commissioner Steve Nelson how he would feel if the county had to raise taxes, T.J. Rodriguez responded, “If the funds are used for emergency services, law enforcement, fire and EMS, life safety, and saving your life, I am good with my taxes going up.”

The commissioners took no action on the budget request before moving on to approve a summer work program through Workforce Solutions. The program helps fund a student working through the summer months.

In other business, the commissioners renewed the county-wide burn ban and voted to prohibit certain types of fireworks within the county. The county will, however, allow fireworks be used at the Schleicher County Civic Center designated area on July 4th.

The burn ban and fireworks orders can be seen on the Schleicher County website.

Judge Charlie Bradley opened two bids to provide materials, labor, and equipment to prime and resurface CR 220. The bids will go to engineer Brian Klinkseik with BJK Engineering who is overseeing the project.

The commissioners turned down a request from Texas Department of Agriculture to head up a 27-county Colonia grant needs and application program.
Judge Bradley presided over Monday’s meeting with Commissioners Gary Gibson, Steven Nelson and Kirk Griffin in attendance. Commissioner Chris Meador was absent.

The next meeting of the Schleicher County Commissioners Court is slated for 9 a.m. on Thursday, June 23rd in the Memorial Building.