Primary elections, winter readiness and honoring UTSA’s first title on Bexar County’s agenda – San Antonio Express-News

Plans for the March primary elections, a major downtown revitalization project, an update by CPS Energy on winter preparedness and the celebration of the UTSA Roadrunners’ first conference champion are among the items set for Tuesday’s meeting of Bexar County Commissioners.

To start the last regular meeting of 2021, head football coach Jeff Traylor and key players of the University of Texas at San Antonio will be recognized by the Commissioners Court after Friday’s victory over Western Kentucky to win the Conference USA title. The Roadrunners face San Diego State in the Dec. 21 Frisco Bowl.

Redistricting and primaries

A plan for the March 1 joint Democratic and Republican primaries, including a shuffling of some voters precincts as a result of redistricting by the Legislature and the county, will likely be approved. Commissioners last month voted for changes to boundaries between precincts 2 and 3 on the Northwest Side and between precincts 1 and 4 on the Southeast Side to provide a more even population distribution among the four precincts, based on 2020 U.S. Census data. In a time-certain item set for 9:30 a.m., the county invites public comment on the proposed voter precinct changes. May 24 is the date set aside for primary runoffs.

University Health budget

University Health will present its 2022 budget of more than $2.5 billion, up from a little over $2.2 billion for 2021, and provide a look at the year ahead. Highlights for 2022 include continued construction on the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, to open in summer 2023, and planning for future clinics to respond to local growth. But officials of the county-owned health system remain concerned about staff shortages and supply chain issues tied to the pandemic and expected decreases in federal Medicaid support.

Downtown renovation project

Meeting at 10 a.m. as the Bexar County Public Facility Corporation board of directors, commissioners are expected to approve documents related to the renovation of the 1896 Continental Hotel, which will serve as a 250-unit apartment building downtown with half of the units for residents whose income is below the area median income. The old hotel, renovated in 1984 to include offices and lab space for the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, has been vacant since 2016. The circa-1800 De La Garza House, one of the oldest residential structures downtown, would be conveyed to the county.

Winter readiness, utility bills

CPS Energy officials will present updates on winter preparedness, including weatherization, grid operations and emergency communications, as well as a proposed 3.85 percent rate increase. If approved by the utility’s board and San Antonio City Council, the rate hike would take effect in March. It’s likely that commissioners will ask Rudy Garza, the city-owned utility’s interim president and CEO, to find ways better to serve the county’s suburban and unincorporated areas.

Disadvantaged businesses

Following up on a study that gauged contracting opportunities provided by the county to small women- and minority-owned and other historically disadvantaged businesses, commissioners will consider revisions to the county’s administrative policy, including “mandatory data collection” in procurement processes starting in March, according to a county memo. They also may direct the county’s consultant, Atlanta-based Griffin & Strong, to develop a race and gender-conscious policy for Bexar County to implement on a contract-by-contract basis.

Capital projects

In the first step toward implementation of a 10-year, $690 million capital improvements program approved in September, the county manager’s office has scheduled the projects based on commissioners’ priorities and projected debt capacity. A preliminary “phasing plan” for the more than 85 projects in four categories — transportation and flood-control, creeks and trails, parks and facilities — will be presented to the Commissioners Court.

Tuesday’s meeting is set to start at 9 a.m. in the Double-Height Courtroom of the Bexar County Courthouse, 100 Dolorosa St., Suite 2.01. It will be streamed live on the county website, bexar.org.

shuddleston@express-news.net