County receives high marks on latest audit

Culberson county commissioners on Monday heard from Rick Knapp, the independent auditor for the county, and reported that the county’s finances are in good shape.

 He commented that this year’s audit would be “boring” because there were only a few minor technicalities and that “boring was good.”  Mr. Knapp commended the county judge, commissioners’ court, auditor and treasurer for their part in staying within the budget while at the same time buying new equipment, and making much-needed improvements to county buildings.

In other action, Becky Brewster, County Democratic Chair, presented expenses for the recent Democratic primary for payment until the county was reimbursed for the election, which was expected to cost approximately $20,000.  Commissioners then heard from County Treasurer Susie Hinojos who requested approval for the purchase of a phone system for the Treasurer and Auditor’s offices in the Records building.  Commissioners voted unanimously to allocate $2,000 for the purchase and installation of a new phone system.  

Sheriff Oscar Carrillo then reported that the county jail had passed a surprise inspection, and was certified to continue to house inmates.  Mr. Carrillo also gave the court his latest figures on keeping inmates from Reeves County, which has netted close to $49,000 for the department.  Commissioners then unanimously approved a request from Mr. Carrillo to use some of the funds to purchase $11,500 in equipment and upgrades to the jail.  He was also authorized to find the most favorable disposition of three Ford Crown Victorias and an F-150 pickup which would help finance another new vehicle for the Sheriff’s department.

In other matters, the court renewed a one-year lease with Gary Jackson for the use of a hangar at the airport, voted to switch from Wind Stream Communications to DelCom for Internet services for the JP 1 office.   Commissioner voted to send two representatives to the annual aviation conference in Dallas, hosted by TxDot in April to ensure that the county could keep abreast of any new grant funding for airport improvements.

County Judge Carlos Urias then reported that he had received the latest estimates for the county’s share of the proposed CERTZ grant, which was to be used for repairing county roads that had been damaged by heavy oil and gas traffic.  Mr. Urias said that the county’s share could exceed $60,000, which was more than the court had expected.  Commissioners voted  to forego the grant at this time until more revenues from the oil and gas business were forthcoming.