All four county judges from the Rio Grande Valley gathered to discuss everything from the pandemic, small businesses and the 2020 Census.
The last time county leaders got together to discuss the pandemic was in June to address the spike in COVID-19 testing.
The overall trend of the discussion:funding and how its been allocated.
“We’ve basically been allocated five and a half million dollars and we have already spent or committed.”Judge Eddie Trevino-Cameron County
Trevino says the funds have been put towards COVID-19 testing, jail facilities, nursing homes, Additional hospital staff and refrigerated trucks for the proper storage of bodies.
Starr county has received the least funding. Judge Eloy Vera wishes the money they do have left will be put toward three programs: utility assistance for residents, small businesses and a funeral expense assistance program.
“We want to get some of that $1.5 million that are still there probably to the tune of $750,000 to use in these three programs and also stimulate the economy by having that money circulate amongst our community. It helps the community, small business, citizens and other people by hopefully having the money circulating in our community”Judge Eloy Vera-Starr County
Hidalgo county has received direct federal funding and has allocated $71.2 million to the various municipalities, Judge Cortez says out of $50 million dollars, $7.5 million has been allocated to hospitals.
Willacy County has received $55 dollars per resident: roughly equally $384.000. According to Judge Guerra, of that amount ,25 percent will be allocated for small businesses as well.
All four judges encourage the public to respond to the 2020 census as federal funding is a direct reflection of the undercount of residents in 2010.