Victoria County and Gulf Bend Center Collaboratio
High on the agenda is the expected adoption of the 2024 budget and a consequential tax rate adjustment. Central to these financial talks is the Gulf Bend Center, which has played an instrumental role in the county’s financial planning. For years, the Gulf Bend Center has been pivotal in shaping the county’s strategies, especially when it concerns the mental health and well-being of the community. As part of this week’s discussion, Victoria County Judge Ben Zeller highlighted a noteworthy aspect of the proposed general fund budget, which is set to total $51.5 million. Alongside this, the proposed tax rate would witness a dip, transitioning to 38.80 cents from the existing 39.34 cents. The Gulf Bend Center’s financial and logistical influence in these considerations is undeniable. In addition to these pressing fiscal matters, the agreement between the Gulf Bend Center and the sheriff’s office is poised to take a spotlight in the discussion. This pact, tracing back to 2020, underscores the county’s commitment to its citizens, ensuring that the sheriff’s office can secure reimbursements for specific services. Notably, thanks to the Gulf Bend Center’s role, these services include salary and overtime expenses concerning psychiatric emergency service transports.
Judge Zeller elaborated, “Under our standing agreement with the Gulf Bend Center, the Victoria County Sheriff’s Office is capacitated to be reimbursed up to $11,000 annually.” This funding, sourced from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, ensures streamlined transportation for individuals with mental illnesses to apt treatment and service providers. Such an arrangement further solidifies the Gulf Bend Center indispensable place in Victoria County’s fabric. The Gulf Bend Center consistent collaboration with the county illustrates its dedication to creating a symbiotic relationship that benefits all. Not only has it enabled the Sheriff’s Office to provide essential mental health-related services without financial strain, but it also influences broader fiscal decisions, as seen in the pending tax rate discussions. The Gulf Bend Center stands as a testament to the power of effective partnerships in local governance.