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County buys new pickups; balks at increasing public assistance

Hockley County Commissioners awarded bids for two pickupes for use in Precincts 2 and 3, approved a road crossing for an oil company, and officially asked for excess materials from the Texas Department of Transportation during Monday morning’s meeting.

Commissioners also approved three public assistance requests totalling $247.19 and denied two totalling $215.50, as recommended by Becky Currington.

Mrs. Currington asked them to consider increasing public assistance guidelines, allowing her to better help some applicants for help.

She explained that the county currently uses the annual federal poverty guidelines in determining eligibility, but have two sets of guidelines: one for elderly and disabled and one for others who have fallen on hard times. She asked that a single set of guidelines be used, pointing out that she is not getting close to the $10,000 budgeted for public assistance. She had not gotten close to the budgeted amount in several years.

Commissioners balked at the proposed change but were reluctant to discuss their feelings.
She reported that the county spent jsut $3,225 last year on public assistance and that she had to turn away some folks who were very close to meeting the guidelines.
“There are times you wish you could bend the guidelines just a little,” she confessed, quickly adding that she doesn’t.

“We are spending so little on public assistance….I’m proud of your guidelines…They’re good guidelines….Lamb County adopted them a couple of years ago,” she continued.

Commissioners agreed to table the topic and revisit it later

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