Jim Wells County Judge Juan Rodriguez and the Commissioners approved several agenda items during their Monday meeting. Two of the agendas were a burn ban for the county and the funding of the City of Premont library.
With the lack of meaning rain the county was placed on a county-wide burn ban effective immediately for the next 90 days. The burn ban will be closely monitored.
“Everything is very dry, so please be mindful because all city and volunteer fire departments have been busy and risking their lives to keep people and property in our county safe,” said Juan Acuna, JWC Emergency Management Coordinator.
Commissioner Wicho Gonzalez, precinct 4, reminded everyone that there are exceptions on the burn ban and if anyone has a question about an exception should call the sheriff’s office at 361-664-0341 before burning anything.
Also approved was the funding for the City of Premont Library and the hiring of the library clerk.
The library had been closed since December of 2019 when the library clerk retired. Commissioners approved the funding for the library for a total amount of $55,833.33.
As of Monday the new librarian is Susan Cherry, a retired teacher and Premont resident. The library will be open Monday through Friday from 1:30 p.m. till 5:30 p.m.
Another important issue discussed during the meeting was in regards to the county contract with the ambulance company Airmed.
According to Judge Rodriguez the agenda item was tabled pending a meeting with Omar Romero, a representative for Airmed in Federal Bankruptcy Court. Airmed is currently in bankruptcy and have not fulfilled their obligations to the county residents, Rodriguez said.
Residents and first responders have voiced their concerns over the lack of services by Arimed. For example, Airmed has been called out to emergencies and they have failed to respond or arrive and in November of 2019 the ambulance arrived on the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident without a paramedic on board, according to county officials.
According to Judge Rodriguez, the safety of the citizens in JWC is priority and he will not comprise the citizens. The judge will decide if the contract with Airmed should be terminated and will call for a special meeting if necessary.