This early on, the numbers are not etched in stone.
But they did provide a good starting point for the Navarro County Commissioners Court to begin a series of workshops to craft the new spending plan.
The commissioners along with County Judge H.M. Davenport Jr. spent almost six hours Thursday going through the first draft of the 2012-2013 budget — department by department — with County Auditor Kathy Hollomon giving an overview of revenue and spending estimates.
Final revenue numbers aren’t exact — there are still some calculations that need to be finalized and their effect on the tax rate studied — but commissioners have a pretty good start on what needs to happen as they move forward the next few weeks.
Based on preliminary estimates, the county is anticipating just under $18 million in revenue in the county’s general fund — $17,907,914 — which is up about $236,000 from the 2011-2012 budget figures.
Using the existing county tax rate of .6270 per $100 valuation, the county would see an increase in ad valorem revenues over last year of about $548,000, Hollomon said, with $430,000 of that falling into the general fund.
Far from final as well are planned expenditures, which as presented to commissioners on Thursday do not include any additional personnel or any salary increases from present levels. Some new personnel requests have been made by a couple of officer holders — including one full time prosecutor in the district attorney’s office, and the conversion of a part-time employee to full-time in the treasurer’s office; Cost of living salary increases have been requested by some officials as well for their employees. Commissioners did not act on any of the personnel requests during their first run through the budget.
Several officials are also requesting equipment and machinery purchases in the coming year, including vehicles for the sheriff’s department, one for the Navarro County Jail, equipment for patrol and SWAT deputies, computers and radio gear, and road equipment for some of the precinct barns. The county is also facing across-the-board increases in the overall costs of health benefits, retirement, and longevity pay for county employees.
Also discussed Thursday was the office of Precinct 3 Constable Brad Butler, whose budget was cut in 2011 to an annual salary of $2,400 following complaints that he was not performing the duties of office, relying on a deputy constable to work bailiff duty and sheriff’s deputies to serve warrants. Butler has requested he receive a full constable’s salary, longevity pay, and also requested $3,500 in repairs and maintenance, $2,500 in gas and oil costs, and $500 in operating supplies.
“Why do we pay a longevity bonus to someone who doesn’t work?” asked Precinct 2 Commissioner Dick Martin.
Judge Davenport explained that county policy dictated the county was obligated to pay both the salary and the longevity pay to Butler as an elected official.
Hollomon said that Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Jackie Freeland said he needed someone whose priority was to serve his court’s papers and warrants, explaining that if some orders weren’t delivered within specified time frames, the orders might have to be re-issued and a process start over.
Butler reportedly did deliver one warrant this past week at the request of Judge Freeland. Butler was re-elected constable in the May 29 primary, and has maintained he has seen that the functions of his office have been performed as required by his deputy constable.
Davenport said the court should wait to hear from Butler if he appears before them to discuss his budget requests before taking any action.
Beginning Friday, commissioners will begin the process of hearing from individual office holders and department heads throughout the courthouse to discuss the individual office budgets, personnel and capital requests in details.
Friday’s session is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. in the County Courtroom of the courthouse. Next week, sessions are tentatively scheduled for 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 1 through Friday, Aug. 3 in the basement conference room.
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Commissioners get first look at draft plan
This early on, the numbers are not etched in stone.
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A forecast summary issued this morning says large or long track tornadoes are possible, along with winds in excess of 70 mph, tennis ball to baseball size hail, and winds in excess of 70 mph.
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An outpouring of support from CISD teachers, and some advice for the next bond proposal from a local voter took up the public forum portion of Monday’s Corsicana Independent School District Board of Trustees meeting.
District voters turned down a proposed $54 million bond package in the May 11 school and municipal elections. The bond would have paid for a new campus, security and building upgrades, new technology, baseball field improvements, and a new school administration building.
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Once again, teams from all over Navarro County gathered Friday evening at The Cook Center parking lot after months of fundraising events to see the culmination of their efforts toward cancer research.
To raise enough money one day for research that a cure is found to end cancer.
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Last week, the 18 members of the Citizens Police Academy came together to shoot guns.
In a long caravan, they headed out to the police shooting range near the landfill where they were taught about the department’s rifles, pepper guns, and handguns. They were invited to fire the pepper gun, although it only contained harmless powder pellets on that day, and a handgun, both under the watchful eyes of instructors Officer Sean Eggleston and Asst. Chief Ronnie McGaha.
‘Make-A-Wish’ event raises funds for trip
Thursday’s Make-A-Wish Foundation event at La Pradera raised enough money to send Coy Bostian and his family to Disney World, according to Heba Shafik, wish-granter with the local chapter.
Local Beat 5/21/13
A listing of meetings and events of interest from throughout Navarro County.
LIVE BLOG of Oklahoma tornado recovery
Click link below to visit our sister publication, the Norman Transcript, for coverage of the recovery efforts after Monday's devastating tornado in Moore, Okla.
Oklahoma tornado - search for survivors begins in Moore
Coverage from our sister publication, the Norman Transcript in Norman, Okla.
MOORE, Okla. — A mix of volunteers and first responders are combing through debris in an Oklahoma City suburb looking for survivors.
The city of Moore was hit by a mile-wide tornado on Monday afternoon.
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