Commissioners also approve $10K donation to HALO-Flight

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Jim Wells County Correspondent

Coastal Bend College Alice Director Dr. Rito Silva made his case Tuesday and received approval from the Jim Wells County Commissioners Court to have his Commercial Drivers License students use the Jim Wells County Fairgrounds as a practice area for the school's truck.

The CDL program, which had its first two students graduate last week, is beginning another course with five students this week, and sought to use the fairgrounds as a practice area for the student drivers during their four-week course.

The program would utilize the county fairgrounds for three or four days out of the four-week course.

Commissioners approved the plan, but said the issues of insurance and liability would have to be worked out before students could use the property.

Silva was agreeable to that and said it wouldn't be a problem.

In other decisions by the court, county commissioners approved a $10,000 request made by HALO-Flight this year. Last year, the county also gave HALO-Flight a $10,000 donation. Carston Meyer, with HALO-Flight, said Jim Wells County is the largest user out of a 26-county area, with 180 missions flown last year within JWC.

HALO-Flight does not receive any funds from Homeland Security or the state of Texas. They are a non-profit organization which receives funding through donations, fundraisers and the generosity of the cities and counties the organization serves.

The court also approved an additional $50 fee on all court costs for drug and DWI offenses in Jim Wells County to go toward the county's drug court.

An account will be opened by the county treasurer to handle the funding. Half of the funds will be sent to the state , 10 percent will go to the county treasure's office and the remainder of the funding will help support the activities of the drug court. The additional fee will raise court costs from an average of $250 to $300, said Assistant County Attorney Linda Flores Resendez.

Finally, commissioners approved the bid for a new federal transport van for the Jim Wells County Sheriff's Department at $28,300. Bowden Ford was the lone bidder on the van. County commissioners said the funds for the van will come out of the sheriff's department's budget.