TravCo, WilCo consider splitting cost of administering emissions program

Travis and Williamson counties are considering partnering to split costs for administrative services for a vehicle emissions program that is offered in both counties.

On April 12, Williamson County commissioners approved an agreement between the two counties to combine efforts to manage the AirCheck Texas–DriveACleanMachine program. Travis County commissioners are expected to vote on the agreement next week.

The effort is part of the state's Low Income Repair, Rehabilitation and Replacement Assistance Program, which has been in place in Central Texas since 2006. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality administers it on a statewide basis.

The program provides financial assistance for eligible motorists who replace or repair cars or trucks that yield high emissions. Vehicle owners may receive repair assistance up to $600 for emissions-related repairs or up to $3,000 for replacement of vehicles that are 10 years or older.

Gary Boyd, Williamson County director of environmental programs, told commissioners that administrative expenses for the program cannot be covered under current funding levels. About $423,000 is allocated to Williamson County annually, and 10 percent of the funds is used to cover administrative costs, including full-time employee pay and benefits.

Boyd said the collaborative agreement would provide both counties with administrative services and funds directly related to repairing or replacing vehicles.

“And additionally [we could] provide some outreach activities that neither one of us can provide on our own,” Boyd added.

“I think we’re going to save the program a little bit because we can share some costs with Travis County," County Judge Dan Gattis said.

The agreement will take effect in June. Informational brochures about the program are available at state inspection stations within Williamson County.
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