In response to COVID-19, Galveston County is changing how it governs the Galveston County Health District, and League City City Council approves.

According to a memo to City Council, the county is updating its interlocal agreement with the health district as a result of lessons learned during the pandemic. Most notably, the county intends to modify the United Board of Health, which is the governing body over the health district, to a five-member board whose members will be appointed by Galveston County Commissioners Court, the memo reads.

During May 25’s City Council meeting, Council Member Larry Millican said part of the new agreement is “objectionable.”

According to Millican, League City pays more than its fair share to the health district. For instance, the district provides ambulances and supports an animal adoption center in Texas City, two services League City does not use but still pays for, Millican said.

Millican said he has a problem with the county and health district not charging entities who are using those facilities and services some sort of equitable fee. By rearranging the board the governs the health district, Millican questioned whether the county will look into those services League City residents do not benefit from.

Council Member Nick Long said he has the same concerns as Millican but that by rearranging how the district is run, the county will be able to better address those concerns. The board will become more accountable to commissioners and therefore get their arms around some of those issues, Long said.

“The fact the county wants to take control of the board and have a better grip over what they’re doing, I look as a positive in the long run,” Long said.

Council Member Hank Dugie urged county commissioners to consider where county funds are going during the upcoming budget season. League City wants to see a benefit considering it pays about one-third of the county’s taxes, Dugie said.

City Council unanimously authorized the agreement modifying how the United Board of Health is composed.