County job cuts on table in ‘14 budget

3-cent tax hike eyed by commissioners

CAMERON—County commissioners are contemplating raising taxes three cents and cutting four county jobs to deal with an anticipated budget shortfall for 2013-2014.

That’s the current “bottom line” after a pair of budget workshops Friday and Tuesday.

A f ter Friday’s workshop it appeared the county was heading toward slicing five jobs and several other services in what was expected to be a $475,000 shortfall stemming mostly from the October capital murder trial of Brandon Cotton in October.

But on Tuesday, Prosecutor Bill Torrey told the workshop he estimated that figure is more likely to be in the neighborhood of $100,000.

CUTS—That enabled planners to propose cutting only one position in the tax collector’s office, not two as was envisioned Friday.

That will likely save the Rockdale One- Stop “satellite” tax office, which on Friday looked to be a casualty of the budget cutting.

Also, envisioned are the losses of one position each in the district clerk’s office, county clerk’s office and Precinct 3 J-P office in Rockdale.

In Friday’s session it appeared voter registration might be moved from the tax office to the county clerk’s office.

“It looks like now that voter registration will stay with the tax office,” County Clerk Barbara Vansa said.

MEETINGS— Barkemeyer said “community communication” meetings are set at 6:30 p.m. at the following locations:

Aug. 14—Buckholts Community Center.

Aug. 15—Davilla Community Center.

Aug. 19—Milam County Courthouse, Cameron.

Aug. 20—Milano Fire Station.

Aug. 22—Rockdale One-Stop Center.

Aug. 26—Gause Volunteer Fire Department.

Aug. 27—Thorndale Chamber of Commerce Conference Room.

Public hearings will be held in the courthouse at 9 a.m. Aug. 26 and Sept. 4 and the budget and tax rate will be on the agenda for the commissioners court meeting at 10 a.m. Sept. 9.

See county judge’s column, page 1D.

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