County budgeting process winding down
David Barkemeyer
Milam County Judge

The 2012 budgeting process is in its final stages as public hearings are being held and final steps are taken for final adoption.

One final public hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Sept. 7 at in the county courtroom with final adoption at the next regular commissioners court meeting Sept. 12.

I encourage you to come to the Sept. 7 meeting when I will present a budget summary and we will answer questions.

The county tax rate for 2012 continues at 60 cents per $100 valuation, no change from 2011.

The general fund budget has been reduced by approximately 2-1 /2 percent, from $10,568,549 to $10,294,826, a total of over $273,000 reduction.

Furthermore, we are making every effort to try to come in under budget on expenses in the general fund by as much as $1 million in 2011 and we will be trying to stay under budget in 2012 as well.

The four commissioner’s precinct budgets on first glance appear to have been increased by one and a quarter million collectively to $6,345,057 total.

How e ver, w hen y ou b ac k out the allowance for reserve accounts, the actual budgeted amount remains essentially the same with 2011 budget without reserves being $4,520,448 and 2012 being $4,495,792, slightly less.

So bottom line, our planned total budget for 2012 is some $300,000 less than 2011.

One final note, even though we are planning some needed pay increases for about 30 percent of our county employees next year as I explained in last week’s article, the total base pay budget for full time employees is actually slightly less in 2012, totaling $ 5,335,234 vs. $ 5,341,090 in 2011 due to there being fewer employees on the payroll in 2012 than in 2011.

The additional overhead slides used in my budget presentation at the public hearings are posted on the county website at

CORRECTION—In last week’s column, an incorrect explanatory paragraph, inserted for editing purposes, inadvertently reversed numbers in a listing comparing some proposed salaries in the 2012 budget. Here are those figures with the correct wording.

First number is the average of a 9-county survey, followed in parentheses by the 2011 base pay, followed by the 2012 proposed pay in bold:

Justices-of-the-Peace— $35,815 ($31,690) $32,500.

District Clerk—$ 47,722 ($41,409) $42,250.

County Clerk—$47,641 ($41,409) $42,250.

Treasurer—$44,424 ($41,409) $42,250.

Tax Assessor- Collector— $45,800 ($41,409) $42,250.

Auditor—$54,983 ($44,297) $45,500.

JP clerks—$27,181 ($25,042) $26,100.

Judge administrative assist ant—$29,319 ($27,438) $28,500.

Indigent health coor- dinator—$ 31,852 ($ 26,892) $27,500.

Jail sergeants—$ 35,919 ($31,800) $32,500.

Jailer corporals—$30,591 ($28,050) $30,000.

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The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.

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