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Bexar County Commissioners To Help Fund Village For Unhoused Seniors

Bexar County
$4 million in funding sources will go to a permanent home for houseless seniors, Town Twin Village. The two-phase $26-million plan will include homes, RV spots, a chapel and medical clinics.

Village For Unhoused Seniors

Bexar County Commissioners directed County Manager David Smith to identify $4 million in funding sources to put toward a permanent home for unhoused seniors.

Groundbreaking on the two-phase $26 million Town Twin Village on Dietrich Road on the East Side is set for May 13. It will include 500-square foot homes, RV spots, a chapel, pavilion and medical clinics.

Chris Plauche is a founder and vice president of the Housing First Community Coalition, which manages the project also supported by the city. It also has some private sector support.

"We know that housing alone can increase health care and increase well being when it's supported by a menu of different types of supports," she said.

Plauche said the village will offer residents a sense of community, provide bus rides to jobs and be staffed by volunteers who themselves have been unhoused.

Downtown Developer Tax Break

In other action commissioners directed staff to design a tax break for the developers of a planned 32-story, high-rise apartment complex in downtown San Antonio.

An artist rendering of the development project at 305 Soledad St. It's planned to be a 32-story, multifamily complex in downtown San Antonio.
Bexar County Economic And Community Development
An artist rendering of the development project at 305 Soledad St. It's planned to be a 32-story, multifamily complex in downtown San Antonio.

The 40% property tax break is valued at nearly $713,000 and will take place over six years to the developers of the project at 305 Soledad St., but the Weston Urban building would represent a downtown investment of $107 million.

County Commissioner Tommy Calvert praised the developers and the county's department of economic development.

"I appreciate the investment of modernizing our skyline of Weston Urban and the work the department has done with them to get it ready," he said.

Calvert said there will be more projects like it in the future as the renewal of downtown San Antonio continues. The San Pedro Creek project, expansion of the UTSA downtown campus, and a new federal courthouse are among the major projects underway.

Jail Overtime Costs

Also during the meeting, Commissioner Trish DeBerry asked Sheriff Javier Salazar in the future to routinely provide commissioners with a forecast on jail staffing overtime costs.

The request comes as the sheriff presented commissioners with an overtime bill for 64,000 hours to cover from early March to early June of this year.

DeBerry told the sheriff it would be helpful for commissioners to receive a forecast on overtime costs before money is spent by the sheriff, rather than after the fact.

The sole Republican commissioner told the court overtime costs continue to rise this year at the jail, where the turnover rate is high among detention deputies.

"Last year was $10 million, the last time we discussed this we were trending towards $12 million. Now we're trending towards 13, 13 and a half," said DeBerry.

The sheriff told commissioners a $2,000 signing bonus they recently approved to help hire detention deputies is helping to fill vacancies. He told DeBerry overtime costs should be coming down as a result.

In other action, commissioners gave the sheriff the go ahead to occupy office space at Morgan's Summer Camp at 23400 Cibolo Vista Road for a $1-a-year lease for five years.

Camp founder Gordan Hartman said he welcomes the deputies presence as added security for the camp for hundreds of children of all ages and abilities. The sheriff said two deputies will be stationed at the office and respond to calls in the area.

Commissioners also opted to allow a burn ban to expire after recent rains. The county remains in drought conditions with the worst conditions in Northwest Bexar County.

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Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at brian@tpr.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian