Commissioners Meet

Lampasas County Commissioners Court met on Monday morning and, among other things, heard a couple of presentations. Lampasas County Sheriff Jess Ramos was seeking the Court’s approval to apply for a one year grant that would allow the Sheriff to hire two additional deputies. The officers would be trained for crisis intervention where mental illness was the main factor. The aim would be to divert the incarceration of persons with mental illness away from jail and to a mental health facility where their problems can be directly addressed. The Sheriff made the point that in 2017 there were 176 persons incarcerated in the County Jail with mental illness.

The grant would pay the salaries of the officers and half the costs of benefits, new equipment and vehicles, but only for the one year. The request was approved 4 to 1, but Commissioner Mark Rainwater voted against it, noting that it was only a one year grant and after that, the County would have to fund the officers and the cost on its own. Another presentation came from a Kempner resident, Michaela Ramos. Ms Ramos has two Great Danes that killed a rabid raccoon on her property. The dogs were not injured and had been vaccinated. In the process of trying to have the dead raccoon tested for rabies, Ms Ramos learned that the County Health Department will not pay for the costs (about $100) of testing the dogs involved. The concern of Ms Ramos was about the spread of rabies when the owner of a pet or livestock cannot afford the costs of trapping and testing.

Commissioner Lindeman made the point that the County does not have the resourcesto take on those costs; and that animal ownership comes with the responsibility of the costs of vaccinations and protection of the animal. The Commissioner and Ms Ramos agreed to continue their discussion following the Court session. Other actions of the Court included the approval of a utility installation permit for a waterline that will cross under CR-4765.