Commissioners Court approves substantial expenditures for COVID-19 response

Executive Director of the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management Jason Millsaps led the Commissioners Court on the multiple spending proposal on Tuesday, June 23, 2020.

The Golden Hammer Staff Reports

Conroe, June 24 – The Montgomery County Commissioners Court spent a fortune on the Chinese Coronavirus response, despite common sense pleas of Precinct 3 Commissioner James Noack to slow down the expenditures. Each of the spending items passed unanimously, however.

Executive Director of Emergency Management Jason Millsaps, who is also the County Judge’s chief of staff, advocated for all of the spending of tax dollars. The funds will come from the CARES Act funds the Montgomery County government received. Under the first federal bailout measure, which Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed into law, the County government received over $100 million in funds boosting the federal deficit and greatly exceeding tax dollars which the United States government collected as part of a $2 trillion package.

With almost do discussion whatsoever, the Commissioners Court approved spending $500,000 to permit Montgomery County government employees to work remotely. Those funds were for information technology charges.

The Commissioners thoroughly discussed a proposal to spend $500,000 on a “kit” for a local hospital to expand its intensive care unit (ICU) capacity for COVID-19 patients. Currently, 15 ICU patients having COVID-19 in Montgomery County fill local hospitals, while 93 patients from Harris County are also in local ICUs.

The $500,000 “kit” will establish a portable tent in which a local hospital may fill ICU beds with available staff to run the facility. The County government has already spent funds on forklifts which will be essential for the construction of the tent “kits.”

Purchasing Director Gilbert Jalomo revealed the secret that it will take 14 to 16 weeks for the “kit” to arrive after the County Commissioners Court ordered the equipment.

Precinct 2 Montgomery County Commissioner Charlie Riley expressed his desire to buy several of the “kits” in order to use them for natural disasters, particularly the likely flooding Montgomery County will experience, in the future. The County Judge ruled that Riley’s comments were out of order and possibly a violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act.

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