LOOK AHEAD: ‘Live PD,’ Covid-19 spending and more: 3 items to note on Williamson County Commissioners Court April 28 meeting agenda

Ali Linan

Williamson County Commissioners Court will discuss “Live PD” contract, coronavirus spending and more at its April 28 meeting. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Williamson County Commissioners Court will hold its regular Tuesday meeting via Zoom on April 28.

Here are some agenda items to note:

1. “Live PD”

Agenda item: Discuss, consider and take appropriate action in relation to the use of Williamson County facilities, vehicles and property by Big Fish Entertainment, LLC and A&E Network for purposes of filming and publishing the television series “Live PD” without the consent, license or authority of the Williamson County Commissioners Court.

Background: On Aug. 20, the court voted unanimously to end its contract Big Fish Entertainment LLC, which produces “Live PD,” that coincided with controversies within the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office. The cancellation followed allegations against former WCSO Commander Steve Deaton for inappropriate behavior, such as challenging deputies in a meeting to have sex with a female “Live PD” producer and posting offensive images on Facebook. The court said they canceled the show due to concern for residents’ rights. WCSO has since appeared back on the show under the leadership of Sheriff Robert Chody—who has said he believed the show brought more positive light to the county than negative. He can be seen promoting the show on his Twitter page.

2. $145,000 in Covid-19 PPE spending

Agenda item: Discuss, consider, and take appropriate action on ratifying the purchase of 20,000 Medical Gowns from ZaaZ Medical in the amount of $145,000 to support Williamson County Emergency Services Operations.

Background: County Judge Bill Gravell has been under fire the last two weeks for executive spending without court consent during the pandemic. On April 14, the court voted to take back all spending decisions as it related to the novel coronavirus. On April 7, the court added $2.5 million to the coronavirus relief fund as it works to fight the virus. This purchases will help support personal protective equipment needs, the agenda reads.

3. Price for testing goes up

Agenda item: Discuss, consider and take appropriate action on approving the Laboratory Reference Agreement between Williamson County and American Institute of Toxicology, Inc. to provide clinical laboratory services in relation to COVID-19 testing.

Background: Williamson County has been working with AIT Laboratories in Denton, Texas, to test residents suspected to have Covid-19. The county initially bought 1,000 tests and were receiving about 500 tests a day for a few days. It also prioritized the tests to be used on first responders, health care workers fighting the virus, and the most vulnerable populations such as those living in assisted living and nursing home facilities, and is not yet offering tests to the general public. According to the agenda item, that price could go up an additional $5 per test, as the county was initially charged $70 per test.

On April 25, the county reported at least 46 positive cases of the novel coronavirus in a Round Rock nursing home.

For the full agenda click here.

Those who wish to speak before the court can still do so but must go in person to the Williamson County Courthouse, 710 S. Main St., Georgetown. The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m.

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