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Sheriff Morgan breaks down 2020 calls, revenue
By Elizabeth Tanner
Garza County Sheriff Terry Morgan gave the annual sheriff’s office report, breaking down yearly service calls and revenue at the most recent city council meeting.
Receiving 29,733 incoming calls in 2020, 6,435 calls were dispatched for service including almost 1,000 calls for EMS, 278 requests to unlock vehicles, 245 reckless driver reports, 230 calls for fire, 174 burglary and medical alarms, 201 traffic accident reports, 203 stranded motorist reports and 92 domestic disturbance reports.
“Twenty-twenty was a nightmare,” Morgan said. “A lot of people don’t realize how much we actually do.”
Despite having two less patrol officers on duty, the sheriff’s office saw an over 45 percent increase in service calls from 2013, when Morgan first took office, to 2020.
The second greatest year, 2018, only caps in at 5,770 service calls, 10 percent less than in 2020.
While service calls were up, revenue took a hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic, recording some of the lowest billing totals since 2013.
Since April 2020, billing totals significantly dropped with the lowest being $39,430 in the month of November for a yearly total of $590,265.
“We started losing money in April,” Morgan said. “This was due to us having to refuse housing to out-of-county inmates during the pandemic.”
Tabling the approval of a contractor for the 2021 downtown revitalization program that was previously set to begin in January, City Secretary Meg Nelson explained that the city is behind schedule due to paperwork not being approved on time by the Texas Department of Agriculture.
In the revitalization, sidewalks, handicap ramps, curbs and lights will be replaced on downtown Main St. using awarded funds from the TDA.
Although holding off downtown construction, the council approved a paving upgrade for Ave. M.
CEFCO, a convenience store with nearby locations in Slaton and Brownfield which is soon begin construction in Post, has agreed to pay for the $400,000 pavement upgrade as they anticipate heavy trucks entering and exiting the gas station through Ave. M.
Council members believe CEFCO will later ask for a tax abatement to which Mayor Pro Tempore Melba Cimental suggested the council cap the abatement if needed.
“They are a very professional operation,” City Attorney Slater Elza said. “I’ve seen cities spend a fortune fixing roads that take lots of heavy traffic. This will be good for them and good for the city.”
The council also approved the order and notice of the upcoming May 1 general election in which Marvin Self’s seat as mayor will be up following the expiration of his two-year term.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for Feb. 9 at 5:30 p.m.