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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: 354
  • 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: 326
  • 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: 410
  • 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.  

Health District Guides Wilco Through Pandemic

Oped by Commissioner Cook

  • 16 July 2020
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 425
  • 0 Comments

WCCHD nurses Kaitlin Murphee (lf) in the clinical services division and Lori Eitelbach (rt) with the Tuberculosis program prepare supplies for COVID-19 testing at the Williamson County and Cities Health District in April.

No one imagined in 1943 when the Williamson County Health Department was established that it later would become a health district, and one day be at the forefront of preserving our public health against a worldwide pandemic.

In 1989, under the Texas Local Public Health Reorganization Act, the county and the cities of Round Rock, Cedar Park, Georgetown and Taylor established the Williamson County and Cities Health District through a cooperative agreement.

The agreement was revised and re-adopted in 1992 and again in 2007, when Liberty Hill and Hutto joined WCCHD. In 2013, Leander enlisted. Any incorporated city in the county with a population over 15,000 may apply to join the health district.

The Williamson County Board of Health, as the administrative authority for the health district, sets policies to promote and preserve public health and safety. The Williamson County Commissioners Court appoints two directors, while each participating city appoints one board member.   

WCCHD Executive Director Derrick Neal said the health district allows each participating city to customize its own services to better meet the needs of its residents, especially with COVID-19’s challenges.

Of WCCHD’s 92 full-time employees and eight contractors, roughly 70 perform COVID-related work. WCCHD’s 58 investigators include 41 epidemiologists, nurses, surge volunteers and staff, six contact tracers and 11 call center volunteers.

There are three types of investigations. An epidemiological investigation occurs when individual cases of possible COVID illness or exposure are reported to the health district. A WCCHD staff member then calls those individuals and interviews them about their symptoms, where they’ve been and their close contacts over a specific time.

Contact tracing team members call the person’s contacts identified during the epi investigation informing them they probably were exposed to a COVID-19 case and should stay home for 14 days.

WCCHD recently transitioned to state contact tracing, which will provide additional resources with the tremendous growth in new cases.

For clusters—sites with two or more positive cases—public health staff conduct on-site assessments, offer education, consulting and other services. One or more cases at a long-term care facility, such as a nursing home, is considered a cluster.  Wilco EMS and firefighters investigate these clusters and establish safety controls through isolation and testing everyone.

WCCHD also has run a public testing drive-through at a Georgetown middle school that offered at least 60 tests every weekday from April 30 until it closes July 17. Seven WCCHD staff, seven volunteers, five Georgetown Fire Department firefighters and one Weir firefighter tested people through their car windows as they drove up.

Update on Family Emergency Room COVID-19 testing

by Wilco's Public Information Office

  • 15 July 2020
  • Author: Doris Sanchez
  • Number of views: 387
  • 0 Comments

Family Emergency Room Offering COVID-19 Testing

Williamson County and Family Emergency Room announced an improved contract to provide better COVID-19 testing services. Testing is available for all. The charges for COVID-19 tests are currently covered by most insurance companies, and Family Emergency Room will bill the patient's insurance company at no cost to the patient. Tests for any Williamson County resident without insurance will be paid for by the county. Family Emergency Room will provide a seamless scheduling process. This improvement will ensure that residents no longer need to wait for a call back to schedule an appointment. Residents can count on drive-thru style testing at the facilities located at:

  • 3620 E Whitestone Blvd, Cedar Park
  • 1860 S Lakeline Blvd, Cedar Park
  • 1925 A.W. Grimes Blvd, Round Rock

Due to high demand, testing is being prioritized for symptomatic individuals; however, asymptomatic and antibody testing is also available for a fee and is being scheduled within a five to eight day period. To get tested for COVID-19 visit https://familyhospitalsystems.com/covid-19.   

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