Victoria County Commissioners will hear an update concerning the payment of the final invoice related to insurance claims and expenditures for damages and repairs after Hurricane Harvey.
The invoice from Commercial Restoration Company includes a projected total payment of $192,301.
Commissioners will also consider renewing the local disaster declaration that County Judge Ben Zeller issued last Monday. If approved, the disaster declaration will remain in effect indefinitely until ended by either the county judge or commissioners.
The county has also expressed hopes that it will be able to receive funding for border related expenses through House Bill 9, which will provide an additional $1.8 billion in state funding for border security over the next two years. However, whether any funding and how much will be available for Victoria County is not clear at this point.
Commissioners will also approve the Victoria County sheriff and constable fees for 2022. Neither the sheriff’s office nor the constables intend to increase their fees next year.
CUERO — The Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall in Cuero was filled to the rafters, but the room was silent save for the sound of shifting feet and the occasional cough.
Members of the highway patrol, police officers and sheriff’s deputies stood at attention, mixed in with a room full of Cuero residents.
A Marine Corps honor guard folded a flag at the front of the room. Even the large ceiling fans cooling the hall were quiet, not letting a single whir of the blades or rattle of bolts interrupt the moment.
Finally – with the flag folded – bagpipes echoed throughout the hall, the somber sounds of “Amazing Grace” punctuating an afternoon of remembrance.
The town of Cuero showed up en masse to honor the memory of one of its native sons Sunday.
Department of Public Safety Special Agent Dustin Lee Slovacek, 37, died Sept. 12 after battling COVID-19.
Slovacek, who served in Afghanistan with the Marine Corps, was born and raised in Cuero, and his death struck a chord throughout the community and beyond, Pastor Glenn Moore said.
Moore learned of Slovacek’s death when Moore’s daughter called him from Des Moines, Iowa to tell him the news, he said.
“I’m thinking, ‘I live in Cuero, where you hear about things before they’re even said’,” he said. “It was another 13 minutes before I knew it was the truth.”
Slovacek’s younger brother, Dylan Slovacek, spoke about the support they had received from the community. Following Slovacek’s death, his brother’s wife made a Facebook post letting the community know what had happened. As the family returned to Cuero, they invited people to stand on the side of the road to honor Slovacek’s memory.
“It was a three-hour notice, and it seemed like a quarter of the town was out standing next to the road,” he said.
Slovacek’s brother followed him into the Marine Corps and then to the DPS, he said.
“He led me on a good path,” he said. “I wouldn’t follow him just anywhere. If he made bad decisions, I’d make my own, but he made all the perfect decisions. He’s such a good example and the reason I’m here today.”
Brian Cornell graduated from Cuero High School with Slovacek and the pair enlisted in the Marine Corps under the buddy system, he said. Though they enlisted together, they were split up in boot camp but reconnected in Okinawa, Japan.
“Seeing him there provided a familiar face in an otherwise foreign environment,” he said.
Slovacek’s sense of humor was a running theme throughout the memorial.
Texas Ranger Gary Phillips began the memorial service by lovingly recalling a prank war he and Slovacek waged against one another while on training trips. The story included coffee grounds stuffed inside toothpaste tubes, baby lotion slathered on toilet seats and furniture stacked and piled against a door to lock Slovacek in. The VFW Hall roared with laughter upon hearing the tale.
Cornell recalled his own series of pranks and jokes with Slovacek.
“He was such a comedian,” he said. “He would have you in stitches laughing at the most random things. Making people laugh filled Dustin’s heart.”
The outpouring of support from the community and family and friends that traveled from out of state to be there for the Slovacek family has been amazing, Slovacek’s brother said.
“The community is something else,” he said. “I went around the world three times in the Marines and there’s a reason I came back here. Just don’t ever forget what you got.”