County is healthy financially despite COVID

Commissioners accept audit; denies longevity pay

By Becky Brewster

Culberson County Commissioners met in regular session on January 11, 2021 to learn the results of the County’s audit. According to Rick Knapp, outside auditor for the County, the County is again in “a solid cash position.” Knapp presented the audit report for the fiscal year ending Sept 30, 2020, noting that the County had “a good year” with an “unqualified opinion.” He reported that there were no significant difficulties, the cash position was better than last year, and the debt was low. Knapp reported that the County’s net assets increased by $1,606,302 for the year with a combined General Funds fund balance of $8,209,217. Knapp noted that the impact of COVID-19 was minimal to the overall financial position of the County. He reviewed areas that need to be “cleaned up,” but noted that there were no material weaknesses. Knapp expressed appreciation to County Auditor Mark Cabezuela and County Treasurer Adrian Hinojos for their efforts in completing the audit noting that the County had “good, competent staff.”

Zach Schaefer, County Extension Agent, presented an annual report, “Making a Difference in Culberson County,” in which he reviewed programs and accomplishments throughout the year. He noted that he plans to build on the existing infrastructure to provide more activities for the youth and to provide more programs. Schafer reported that the Livestock Show will be held January 16, 2021 with arrangements being put in place for the annual sale and BBQ to comply with COVID-19 protocols.

Commissioners also approved the installation of a new secure network for the County Clerk’s office and the County Tax Assessor-Collector’s office to comply with the Election Security Assessment recommendations. The project was awarded to ZAP’D I.T. and Communications/David Rivera for a cost of $9,978.00.

Commissioner Gilda Morales reported on the recent jail inspection, noting that the inspector was impressed with the operation of the jail. The only issue noted was to make sure the inmates were given one hour of outdoor recreation time each day. Morales noted that approximately 20 other jails have been shut down due to adverse inspection results.

In other County business, the Court also:

Heard report from the grant administrator regarding the Food Pantry.

Approved the minutes from December 9, 2019 to December 14, 2020.

Approved the Sheriff’s Holiday Policy and the County’s 2021 Holiday Schedule.

Denied payment of longevity to Amalia Hernandez since she retired before the completion of her annual milestone that would trigger the longevity benefit.

Approved monthly reports.

Heard reports on various County Projects.

Approved monthly expenses and payroll.