Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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August 19, 2013

County budget talks resume Friday

Corsicana — The Navarro County Commissioners Court met briefly Monday to handle some routine agenda items and conduct a budget workshop, but no changes to the proposed plan were made.

The current budget plan shows a deficit of just over $1 million, and does not include any costs associated with the proposed courthouse restoration or any additional changes commissioners may want to include. County budgets the past two years have been adopted with deficits in excess of $800,000, although the 2011-12 budget year ended in the black, and the 2012-13 budget is expected to come close to that at the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

Commissioners hope to have a better idea of what they’ll need to budget for any work related to the courthouse restoration when they meet at 8 a.m. Friday for another workshop. County Judge H.M. Davenport Jr. said they hoped to know by then how much of the first-year costs of the restoration project could be funded by a possible donation from the Navarro Community Foundation. Costs not eligible to be covered by a bond issue or the state grant for the project must be funded in the upcoming budget, and may require a tax increase, according to the county’s financial advisors.

A lot has to happen in the next week as a result of the restoration project and budget process.

At 9 a.m. Wednesday, a meeting of the county’s salary grievance committee will hear a grievance filed by Precinct 2 Constable David Foreman. Any change ordered as a result of that hearing will need to be added to the budget, as will any other salary adjustments commissioners may consider before finalizing the budget.

The county needs to declare its intent on a proposed tax rate for the coming year —action that will have to come at Friday’s special meeting — in order to place it on the agenda for Aug. 26.

And, commissioners must act on calling for a November bond election for the proposed restoration at the Aug. 26 meeting as well.

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