County readies for FY2020-2021

By Becky Brewster

Culberson County Commissioners met in regular session last Monday, August 10, 2021.

The Commissioners renewed the County’s health insurance with the Texas Association of Counties for 2020-2021. Deborah Falknor told commissioners that the County plan has a 2.7% rate reduction for the same benefits. Culberson County has a $250 deductible with a $2,000 out-of-pocket limit. The County chose to maintain its coverage with no changes. Falknor reported that the County could seek a deeper reduction by increasing deductibles and copays but indicated some of the savings would be passed on to the employee. The Court also renewed the dental and vision plans. Falknor will attend the August 24 meeting to discuss budgetary impacts on providing insurance coverage to retirees.

Becky Brewster, TxCDBG grant administrator, reported that the engineer had extended the bid deadline again for the Culberson County Food Pantry. Brewster noted that the timeline is critical with the grant end date of October 31; an extension from the Texas Department of Agriculture will be required to be able to finish the project.

County Clerk, Linda McDonald, updated the Court on the November general election. The Court approved the slate of election judges and alternates that were presented noting that there are still some positions to be filled. The Court also approved an increase in the rate for election workers to $12/hour.

Molly Hernandez, Tax Assessor-Collector, presented the 2019 annual tax report and noted that the County has collected 97.2% of its 2019 taxes as of the June 30 tax year end. The uncollected taxes total $133,878.11. Hernandez also presented the 2020 No New Revenue Rate (formerly effective tax rate) at $.15664/$100 valuation and the 2020 Voter Approval Rate (formerly rollback rate) at $.161306. She noted that the County is limited to a 3.5% increase without triggering an election reduced from the 8% allowed in the past. The County opted to proceed with the Voter Approval Tax Rate for the 3.5% increase triggering the public hearing process.

The Court held its third budget workshop for the FY 2020-2021 budget cycle. The Court reviewed budget proposals for projects, capital expenditures, employees and departmental budgets. Patricia Golden requested that the Court consider allocating funds for the Museum roof which has recently become a dire issue.

In other County business, the Court also:

Heard report from County Extension Agent.

Tabled the proposal for JP#1 Improvements pending further clarification.

Adopted the 2021 Sheriff and Constable fees leaving the rate at $150.

Acknowledged tax refunds presented by the Tax Assessor-Collector.

Approved County Treasurer’s Reports for June and July.