On Friday, as the governor laid out his plan for returning to normal, he said there is a glimmer of light now at the end of the tunnel of this coronavirus pandemic. That is excellent news. In that spirit, I’d like to offer some more good news as it pertains to the city and our current status.
The very good news is that as of last Friday, it had been two weeks since the last reported COVID-19 case within the city of Seguin. Our total number of cases still stands at six. That is remarkable in a community of 31,000 people. Let’s hope that record continues to expand.
Please note that Guadalupe County to date has reported 53 cases, which includes Seguin. Most of those cases were in the northwest part of the county, which, for all intents and purposes, is in the San Antonio metro area. Also note that at this time, 32 of the 53 cases have recovered. It certainly seems like we are truly on the downside of the curve.
Congratulations and thanks to everybody in Seguin for complying with all our social distancing standards. At this point, GRMC has not had to hospitalize a single COVID-19 patient.
Speaking of our hospital, I think the community owes GRMC management and staff a huge thank you for their efforts in doing all they can to prepare for the worst-case scenario, all the while keeping their essential functions operating efficiently. No doubt that our locally-owned hospital continues to shine as one of our greatest community assets.
I know many of you, including me, are concerned with what the pandemic is doing to the economy. Well, here is some more good news.
First, our planning and development teams have remained very busy during this whole upheaval. We have averaged about 70 new housing permits per week in our planning offices over the past month, and our building inspections on new construction are averaging 40 to 50 a day by our staff. So, it appears that the major developers have not shied away, and many new single-family homes continue to be built here in Seguin.
Secondly, our industrial base remains at work during this time, with the exception of Vitesco/Continental, who builds automotive electronic components, but they will get back to work as soon as auto manufacturing kicks in again in a few weeks. All of our other manufacturers are open and working, and will be even stronger when the virus threat ends.
Seguin is fortunate in that we don’t have to depend as heavily on jobs and sales tax revenues from retail and entertainment as some of our neighboring cities do. This speaks to the wisdom of building up our industrial manufacturing base over the past two decades. That industrial base gives our local economy a stability that smooths out the economic ups and downs experienced by a predominantly retail economy.
A third piece of good news is that Seguin is in very good financial shape. Our city management and staff run a very lean and efficient city government. We maintain 90 days of operating funds on hand for emergency, and another rainy-day fund beyond that.
While we want to end restrictions as soon as possible, we have the ability to withstand a more severe downturn, if one should occur. The bond rating agencies didn’t give us an “AA” rating for nothing!
See, there is good news out there. The president’s national plan and the governor’s state plan both include reasonably achievable goals that point out ways toward ending this coronavirus mess, and we as a city have a clear shot at coming out of it in great shape.
Meanwhile, go get a takeout meal at one of our locally owned restaurants, and support our small business people as much as you can. Stay safe, and God bless you all!
Gosh, I love this town!