County nutrition program not guaranteed a full year's funding

Brian Cuaron

Oct. 3, 2011 at 5:03 a.m.

Funding to the county's nutritional program for women with young children may be in jeopardy if the 2012 federal budget is not adopted.

The Victoria County Commissioners Court approved on Monday a six-month, funding contract with the Department of State Health Services. The contract provides funds for the Victoria City-County Health Department's nutritional services to the women, infant and children's division.

The program provides food via a benefits card to women, infants and children 5 years old or younger, said Kim Pagel, director of the division. Participants qualify for the program by having a nutritional risk and are only allowed to buy types of food that the program recommends.

Victoria, Jackson, Calhoun, Goliad and DeWitt counties are served by the program, Pagel said. The program also trains women on breast-feeding techniques.

The contract provided a maximum reimbursement of $456,698 - 11 percent less than last year, Dr. Bain Cate, health department director, wrote in a letter to the court. However, the contract was only good through March 31 because the fiscal year 2012 federal budget has not been passed.

Last year's contract for the nutritional program was funded without a federal budget and through continuing resolutions, Cate noted. The state has previously funded the nutritional program for 12 months, but was unwilling to guarantee funding for a full year this time.

If the funding isn't continued after March, the nutritional program will be eliminated, Cate wrote. That was highly unlikely, he noted.A FAA

In another federal agency related item, the Federal Aviation Administration must pay a fair market value for storage space at the county's airport, said Jason Milewski, airport director.

The FAA has a lease with the Victoria Regional Airport to store computer equipment in some office space, Milewski said. The FAA previously had a 20-year lease agreement with the airport at a cost of $1,127 per year.

With its lease set to expire, the FAA wanted another 20-year lease agreement at the same cost, Milewski said. However, the goal is to get the lease up to fair-market value, so the airport management has decided to go with a one-year lease agreement, for now.

The new agreement will charge the FAA $2,000 per year, Milewski wrote in an email.



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