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County budget improved but not without potholes
by Chip Latcham
Sep 25, 2013 | 25 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Despite better financial conditions attributed to the Eagle Ford Shale, our county commissioners recently have been dealt a series of problems dealing with programs and funds.

About a month ago, the Commissioners Court learned that the county may again face a shortfall of enrollment in a Bee Community Action Agency program, and the consequences may be costly.

This time the Head Start program reportedly was lacking 65 students and was already scheduled to receive its full federal funding.

Commissioner Dennis DeWitt asked, “How we are going to handle the students we are lacking? Is that money going to have to be paid back by the taxpayers of Bee County?”

Since then, a request was made to the funding agency notifying them of the reduced enrollment but asking to keep BCAA Head Start’s base funding.

DeWitt and the court are trying to avoid a repeat of what occurred previously with the Senior Meals Program.

The BCAA meals program discovered it was short on funds and, fortunately, the Alice Community Action Agency rode to our rescue. The meals program provides food to elderly, disadvantaged people within the county, either by delivery to their homes or served at a central location.

We hope the county and BCAA officials will make the changes needed to see that this problem doesn’t happen again. It’s embarrassing and appears as though someone is overpromising or overcounting.

Meanwhile, at this week’s court meeting, commissioners learned that our veterans would be forced temporarily to drive about 30 miles to receive services.

Thankfully, it appears that it’s an easy remedy: an office is shorthanded. The community affairs department director recently retired and Roy Galvan, who was serving as the veterans service officer, is the only person left there.

The county is in the process of rehiring the veterans officer and also hiring a code enforcement officer. County Judge David Silva said that this is only temporary until they can get more people hired in that department.

Until then, veterans will have to drive to San Patricio County, Corpus Christi or Victoria for those services, as Galvan cannot always be in the office when they call or come by.

We hope the county will get Galvan some help and find a suitable replacement soon for the sake of our veterans – perhaps before Veterans Day.
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