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County commissioners commit to athletic facilities expansion at Texas A&M University-San Antonio

The campus of Texas A&M University-San Antonio on February 6, 2020.
File Photo | Camille Phillips |Texas Public Radio

Bexar County Commissioners on Tuesday committed to provide $10 million to expand athletic facilities at Texas A&M University-San Antonio on the South Side.

Commissioner Rebeca Clay-Flores brought the proposal to commissioners. She said the same facilities would be open to the general public, not just students and staff. She added the South Side lacks safe public sports facilities to exercise.

Texas A&M University-San Antonio President Cynthia Teniente-Matson explained just how sparse those facilities are to commissioners.

"There are only four sports venues right now located south of Highway 90, and only one that's located south of the 410," said Teniente-Matson.

There are plans for a softball field that would eventually become a stadium for the game and a multipurpose field. University officials say they will be well-lit and patrolled. A nominal fee for public use would be charged. A timeline for the project has not been released.

In other action on Tuesday, commissioners were presented with the results of a three-year study on the effectiveness of the Family Drug Court. The Family Drug Court works to restore families separated by legal troubles due to substance abuse. The court welcomes defendants who voluntarily commit to court ordered intervention to regain their children from child protective services.

The court's orders are also a means of easing crowding at the county jail.

Debbie Anger told commissioners she was one of the parents helped by the family drug court to get her family back after she experienced substance abuse.

"I have achieved more than I ever thought I would accomplish. I also regained my kids, my children back from CPS. Thanks to family drug court for the support I needed during my time of need and help me become the woman and mother I am today," Anger said.

The study found the number of children reunified with their families and not left in CPS custody during the three-year study may have saved taxpayers nearly $13 million.

Commissioners on Tuesday also:

  • Approved more than $1.1 million from federal COVID-19 relief dollars for 20 local community groups and one business to pay outstanding balances associated with the pandemic. The San Antonio Livestock Exposition was given nearly $742,000, making it the biggest recipient. The other top three recipients were the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture at $76,000 and Big State Produce at $67,000.
  • Approved a $1.6 million agreement with the City of San Antonio for Bulverde Road improvements at Elm Waterhole Creek on the far North Side. The improvements include reconstruction of a low water crossing, between Green Spring and Redland Road, that will provide unflooded access at the crossing.
  • Awarded nearly $12 million to Capital Excavation Company and CPS Energy for Phase III of the Galm Road Project on the far West Side. The work includes expanding the road from two lanes to five, including a center turn lane and concrete median, 5-foot bike lanes in both directions, and sidewalks.
  • Adopted the county's first official Paid Parental Leave Policy.  Under the policy, county employees will be eligible for eight weeks of paid leave to care for a child after birth, adoption or foster-to-adopt placement.  All parents — regardless of their ability to give birth — are eligible, effective immediately.
  • Approved a request from the Cesar E. Chavez Legacy and Educational Foundation for a $10,000 sponsorship of the March for Justice to enable the nonprofit to further provide college scholarships to local seniors.
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