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Commissioner Cook's Commentary on Wilco's Emergency Response to Hurricane Laura

  • 1 September 2020
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 138
  • 0 Comments

Even though you may feel that hurricane was far away, and heck, we didn’t even get rain out of it, Williamson County did receive hurricane refugees from the southeast.

On Wednesday night, August 26, Connie Odom, our Public Information Officer, put out notice that we’d been asked to provide housing for evacuees from Galveston, 57 rooms. Preparations were made with hotel/motels in Taylor, Hutto, Georgetown and Cedar Park.

Lo and behold, hours later and unexpectedly, our Emergency Management team was notified of need for hundreds of evacuees from the coast. COTA was setup as the receiving area to process these people, and then assignments to hotel destinations were made. Round Rock hotels/motels were added to the list and the result was:

  • Sheraton at Georgetown - 205; Marriott LaFrontera - 320; Best Western Taylor - 20; Comfort Inn Georgetown - 17; Hampton Inn Hutto - 14; Holiday Inn Express Hutto - 17; Wood Springs Suites - 40; Total Evacuees Sheltered - 633.

Williamson County Commissioners Court Approves Budget and Sets Tax Rate

Media Release from the Wilco Public Information Office (includes Commissioner Cook's quote below).

  • 25 August 2020
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 162
  • 0 Comments

The Williamson County Commissioners Court unanimously approved the total county budget of $394,690,355.64.  That is a slight increase of .00214 percent over last year’s adopted budget of $393,843,886.

The Commissioners Court also adopted a total tax rate for tax year 2020 of $0.458719 per $100 of valuation. The total tax rate is comprised of the General Fund, Road and Bridge Fund, and Debt Service Fund tax rates. That rate is the same as the County’s current total tax rate. This represents an increase of $10 for the year for the average valued home.

The FY21 General Fund budget is $222,981,680.00.  In this budget, the Commissioners Court strategically moved six positions from one department to another based upon need while not increasing the total number of employees from the previous year.

The FY 21 Road and Bridge Fund budget is $44,862,760.64.  As in previous years, this budget includes $5 million towards funding the County’s long-range transportation plan.

The Commissioners Court approved a law enforcement and corrections step pay increase of 2% and allocated 2% to go towards merit earned, lump sum payments for civilian employees. 

“During these unprecedented times, we took a very conservative approach with our budget and did not add to our total number of employees. County employees have served on the front lines during the pandemic response, and I am grateful for them. Non-law enforcement employees are eligible for a lump sum merit increase based upon performance,” said County Judge Bill Gravell. 

“I want to thank the County department heads, elected officials, and employees who worked with us to develop a lean budget that meets the needs of our County but is mindful of the unique time we find ourselves in,” said Precinct 2 Commissioner Cynthia Long.

The FY 21 Debt Service Fund budget is $126,845,915 and includes $25 million to pay down debt early.  

“The Commissioners Court has made paying down debt a priority as part of our annual budget process. Over 20 years, Williamson County has saved more than $135.6 million in interest through its efforts to pay off debt early and refinancing,” said Precinct 3 Commissioner Valerie Covey.

“The tax rate for 2021 is the result of all of the departments in Williamson County government really stepping back and working through each of their individual budgets to identify those items they must have or maintain, then limiting their asks to those. It was a team effort in these very trying times. I’m so proud of everyone,” said Precinct 1 Commissioner Terry Cook.

Commissioner Cook Announces Coronavirus Small Business Reopening Checklist

Presented by Workforce Solutions Capital Area and SCORE

  • 24 August 2020
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 233
  • 0 Comments

Wilco Commissioners Vote on Proposed Maximum Tax Rate And Recommended Budget

Press Release from Wilco's Public Information Office

  • 5 August 2020
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 238
  • 0 Comments

August 5, 2020 (Williamson County, Texas) – On Tuesday, August 4, the Williamson County Commissioners Court unanimously approved a proposed maximum total tax rate not to exceed $0.458719. This is the same as the county’s current total tax rate.  The proposed maximum total tax rate is comprised of the General Fund, Road and Bridge Fund, and Debt Service Fund tax rates. A public hearing will be held on August 25, at 10:15 a.m., to allow county residents to express their opinions before the final tax rate for tax year 2020 is adopted.  

The Commissioners Court also unanimously accepted the recommended budgets for the three funds. The recommended FY21 General Fund budget is $218,940,100, a decrease of approximately 1%. The recommended FY 21 Road and Bridge Fund budget is $44,576,568, a decrease of approximately 1.06%. The recommended FY 21 Debt Service Fund budget is $126,845,915 and includes $25 million for debt defeasance to pay down debt early.  

Commissioner Cook Announces Williamson Wilco Forward Phase III Service Agreements Approved In Commissioners Court

Press Release from Wilco's Public Information Office

  • 22 July 2020
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 313
  • 0 Comments

On July 21, 2020, the Williamson County Commissioners Court approved agreements for Wilco Forward Phase III to provide rent and utility assistance to residents that are in need through partnerships with local non-profits. Terms of agreement were approved between Williamson County and The Caring Place, The Salvation Army, and the Round Rock Serving Center. Phase III is funded with $5 million from a combination of Community Development Block Grant funds and the approximately $93 million the County received in federal CARES Act funds. 

The three agencies will serve as conduits for assistance. These agencies will be reimbursed by the County for rent assistance and/or utility assistance provided to residents across Williamson County between March 1 through December 30, for a total of up to $5 million. The County will monitor the total amount of funds spent to date so that the Phase III budget is not exceeded.   

All three agencies will follow the criteria below to assess eligibility:  

  • All residences assisted must be located in Williamson County 
  • Up to the rent amount based on the lease agreement plus late fees for up to a total of 3 months  
  • For approved applications, the applicant must request additional funds after the first month of assistance on an as needed basis 
  • Up to $1,500 of utility assistance per residence on an as needed basis
  • Applicant must show evidence that the assistance is needed due to issues caused by COVID-19.  

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