City Manager Matt Wojnowski on Tuesday briefed city council members on projects and activities city employees are carrying out during the COVID-19 crisis.
Wojnowski made his presentation during the regular city council meeting on Tuesday.
“I want to start off again by thanking all the city staff. They have been really adaptive and responsive to the ongoing changes and continue to provide the essential services throughout the city,” Wojnowski said.
“Our water treatment and distribution continues, wastewater treatment, natural gas service, trash and recycling continues through our Red River contract. Our police, fire and 9-1-1 services continue 24/7, and our transportation services continue as well,” he told the council.
The city manager also briefed the council on specific ongoing programs that have increased the city’s scope of services to the public during the health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Nutrition Services program, which provides home-delivered lunches, we had eight more clients served this week compared to the last report, so we have a total of 595 receiving home-delivered lunches. Please call 830-774-8670 to sign up. There are still currently five staff members from the civic center helping deliver those meals, and the age limit for that is 55 and up,” Wojnowski said.
He also reviewed the services being provided by the city’s state-funded Women Infants and Children’s (WIC) program.
“Each month is a new month, and here at the end of July, we have 1,813 clients receiving those benefits. To see if you’re eligible for that or qualified, you can call 830-774-8609,” the city manager said.
He said in addition, WIC employees have sewn many cloth face masks.
“The last report was 956. However, they did cut an additional 445 new masks so they can start sewing those soon,” Wojnowksi said.
The city manager reminded the council the city is not charging online convenience fees for utility customers making payments or for property owners making property tax payments.
“For utility and tax payments, you can call 866-299-3771 to make payments over the phone, and for municipal court fine payments, you can make payments over the phone at 866-282-1248,” Wojnowski said.
“Our public media has shared 66 informative posts related to COVID over the past two weeks. They share the testing graphic and other informative posts related to COVID, and we do have a dedicated web page as well on our web site,” he said.
The city is also distributing face masks to anyone who needs them, he said.
“We purchased many cloth masks, and we’re distributing those to the public through the following means: to our transportation clients and their households, to our WIC clients and their households, to our clients in the senior meal program and their households.
“If you come to City Hall, through the drive through for utility payments, you can ask for some for yourself and your household there as well. These are free, no charge.
“In addition, we have partnered with our county and have given a number of free masks to them, to the county commissioners, to give out at their food distribution events, so those that are attending those events also can receive some free cloth masks. We also gave some directly to the housing authority to distribute to their residents as well,” Wojnowski said.
The city manager also addressed a new interlocal agreement with Val Verde County.
Wojnowksi said the agreement will help pay “for eight contact tracers, for two registered nurses and an administrative assistant to help support the local health authority and his efforts.”
“We’re also ready and available to assist the county with delivery of food, and we do have our ongoing EOC (emergency operations center) hotline for questions about all things COVID related,” Wojnowski said.