Schleicher County Commissioners met Monday, July 25th and voted to issue a disaster declaration due to the ongoing crisis on the southern border. The move came as many local jurisdictions, including Texas cities and counties, are doing the same. They say the federal government’s lack of control on the border has prompted an overwhelming influx of illegal immigrants that constitute a foreign invasion.

It was noted that Schleicher County has not yet seen a flood of immigrants like other counties along the border are experiencing. But, the commissioners decided that declaring a disaster would show that our county stands in support of those bearing the brunt of the crisis.

Justice of the Peace Phil Edmiston was concerned that the expense of performing autopsies could financially cripple the county if a mass casualty event, similar to the 53 immigrants who died in the back of a tractor-trailer rig near San Antonio on June 27th. He suggested the disaster declaration might help the county be reimbursed for such an expense by state or federal agencies.

In other business, the commissioners authorized County Judge Charlie Bradley to negotiate and finalize an agreement with Laughlin Air Force Base at Del Rio that would allow Air Force training to take place at the Schleicher County Airport.

Judge Bradley explained that there will be no Air Force jets landing at the airport, but small planes making approaches and “maybe a few touch and go landings.”

Bradley noted that local pilots Jimmy Doyle and J.D. Doyle didn’t have a problem with the agreement as long as access of civilian pilots is not restricted.

The commissioners then certified the name of a private road that intersects County Road 404 near the City of Eldorado’s landfill. The roadway will remain a private road, but will be designated as Hearn Lane for 9-1-1 addressing purposes.

The commissioners also voted to call for bids for a transport load of highway diesel with the bids to be opened at their August 8th meeting.

Among other items of business, the commissioners appointed a nine-member grievance committee to handle concerns over the pay of elected officials. They also reviewed and approved the county’s bills for payment.

Judge Bradley presided over Monday’s meeting with Commissioners Gary Gibson, Steve Nelson, Kirk Griffin and Chris Meador in attendance. County Clerk Mary Ann Gonzalez and County Treasurer Jennifer Henderson were also present.