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County Commissioners' Court Meeting July 25

Published July 26, 2011 @ 8:04 a.m.

Garza County Commissioners Court met Monday, July 25 for a regular meeting and budget workshop.  

Minutes from the July 8 were approved as presented and the following reports or information were also approved:  Treasurer; Budget Usage Analysis; Senior Transportation; Justice of the Peace, 1; AgriLife Extension/Jones; AgriLife Extension/McDonald; Garza County Certificates of Obligation Bond Fund, 2008; and Garza County Public Facilities Board Bond Funds, 2005.

Precinct and countywide accounts payable for July 9, 2011 through July 25, 2011 were approved.  No line item transfers or budget amendments were requested.

Independent auditor Joe F. Hays, CPA reviewed audits of the operations of the Dalby Correction Facility and the Dalby Correctional Facility Inmate Trust Funds for the court.  He explained that the unit is a positive economic factor in the community and is a very well run operation.  Both entities audited were issued clean opinions.  The commissioners accepted the audits as presented.

One bid of $200 from Terri and Tracy Morris was received and accepted for a Precinct 3 truck.  One bid, also for $200, from Terri and Tracy Morris was received for a Precinct 4 truck.  That bid was also accepted by the commissioners.

An annual road report for Precinct 4 was presented and accepted.  The commissioners discussed an update on Sheriff’s and Constables’ fees voting to keep those fees the same.

 County Judge Lee Norman reported to the court regarding health insurance policy renewals for county employees and presented the renewal rates from the Texas Association of Counties. The Plan 300 insurance policy, by Blue Cross/Blue Shield, shows an increase of 3% as compared to the state average increase of 6.33%.  Life insurance/AD&D rates decreased by 10%.  The cost for annual premium per county employee is $8784.  As of the June 2010 billing, there are 75 county employees on the health insurance plan.  The county will receive a $7222 annual renewal credit making the total county annual cost $651,578. The commissioners approved the health and life insurance rewals with TAC for fiscal year 2011-2011 as presented.

In discussion concerning the 2011-2012 Budget Judge Norman explained that one increase in the budget to expect is the additional cost of $19,080 for employees insurance over last year’s budget. He also stated that a 1% salary increase for all employees and elected officials would increase the budget $26,139.

Ad valorem tax valuation was $6,116,000.  Projection for this year is $837,120,000, a net increase of $14,601,455 over last year’s evaluations.  A tax rate of .36, which is slightly less than the current rate, would generate the same ad valorem tax revenue as the current year. 

The judge led the court in a page-by-page review of the draft of the 2011-2012.  The law enforcement budgets were discussed at length including the legal responsibility of the county to providing law enforcement.  If the City of Post contributes less than $350,000, it may necessary to increase the tax rate to exceed the roll back rate or make cuts in the budget. Commissioner Brannon suggested that before a tax increase is considered, all county departments should look closely at their budgets to see which items can be decreased or even cut.

The budget process schedule was introduced.  Most notable dates are August 15 when commissioners take a record vote and set public hearings.  The hearings are tentatively set for August 19 at 9:00 a.m. at the AgriLife Extension office and on August 22 at 6:00 p.m. at Trailblazers.  The adoption of the budget and setting of the tax rate is scheduled for August 29 at 9:00 a.m. in commissioners’ court.

A budget workshop is set for August 5, 2011 at 9:00 A.M. and the next regular meeting is August 8, 2011 which includes a budget workshop.

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