By Becky Brewster
The Culberson County Commissioners met for the final review of the proposed 2016-2017 Budget. The discussion centered around the salaries of the co-supervisors at the County Barn. After extensive discussion, the Commissioners agreed to increase the salary of Domingo Corralez combined with his stipend as Solid Waste Management Coordinator to be equal to that paid to Manuel Carrillo. The proposed budget will exceed projected revenues and carryover by approximately $254,000. The County does not propose to increase the property taxes above the effective tax rate calculation. Instead, this excess will be funded by reserve funds currently in savings accounts. County Auditor Mark Cabezuela will make this final adjustment to the budget for adoption at the September 12, 2016 regular meeting. Due to scheduling conflicts, this meeting will be limited to the adoption of the budget and the 2016 Tax Rate. The remaining business items will be deferred to a special meeting.
The Court then discussed the process for soliciting fuel bids, noting that the earliest the bids could be due would be September 23. Judge Urias tentatively called a special meeting for Monday, September 26.
Commissioner Gilda Morales reported that the recent heavy rains had led to issues at the cemetery, especially since some recent grave sites at been leveled and subsequently eroded since there was no mound of dirt to naturally fill in the eroded areas. Additional material will be delivered to fill in these areas.
County Clerk Linda McDonald reported that the polling place for Precinct 2 will be relocated from the Courthouse to the Fellowship Hall at the First United Methodist Church. At a prior meeting, McDonald had previously reported that the polling place for Precinct 1 would be moved from the County Barn to the Convention Center. She noted that such relocations no longer require preclearance from the U.S. Department of Justice. Since County facilities will no longer be used as polling places, the County will no longer have need to close County offices for election day.