Mayor Nelson addresses prospected city tax cuts to meet budget, save taxpayers money

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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Mayor Ginger Nelson said Amarillo qualifies for $11 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund, and the city has already received $2.2 million of that to assist with coronavirus response expenses.

Mayor Nelson said there are no plans at this time to raise property taxes, and the city is still able to hold their bond rate. There will be some cuts though to get the budget back on track.

“One of the ways the staff is proposing that we save dollars is to limit our summer programming. Financially, it is expensive to open those pools. They have been winterized, and to get them up and running is a significant cost to us as taxpayers,” said Mayor Nelson.

All of the results have come back from the testing done by the Texas National Guard at Tyson. The Director of the Public Health Department anticipates another spike, as all nursing home residents and workers are being tested.

“This information will be helpful for each nursing home so they can coordinate the care of individuals while slowing the spread of transmission in their facilities,” said Casie Stoughton, director of the Amarillo Public Health Department.

All three hospitals have seen less COVID-19 patients over the last 10 days. Northwest Texas Hospital says they experienced their spike April 30 while BSA says their spike was May 8.

“I think the critical thing here to say is, despite the large number of positives that we have reported for Amarillo, the inpatient census at both hospitals continues to slowly decline over the past week to ten days,” said Chief Medical Officer at BSA Dr. Michael Lamenteer.

The Veterans Affairs Hospital is opening their doors for non-veteran patients who live in Amarillo and do not have insurance.

“Our hospital doors are open for all citizens and residents of Amarillo who may need hospital care for humanitarian reasons, free of charge,” said Dr. Sameh Moawad, chief of staff at the Amarillo VA.

BSA will be receiving another shipment of remdesivir, the antiviral drug. Dr. Mowad called it a very promising drug for COVID-19.

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