County begins to discuss budgeting

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Madison County Commissioners Court on Monday took input from department heads on items that would be consider wishes, ones that could possibly be granted during the budget process.

At the regular meeting, each department was asked if anything needed to be added to the preliminary budget; nothing was accepted, however, as the county won’t have revenue estimates until later in the week.

What few items that were small in nature, such as additional storage space for a shared server, replacement emblems for a constable vehicle and funds for a service agreement.

County Judge C.E. McDaniel said that any discussions about pay will be held at an Aug. 13 budget hearing.

There was some discussion about a vehicle allowance that has been budgeted for the county judge position for many years; Commissioner Ricky Driskell said there really wasn’t any need for it.

However, a vote to have it removed from the budget failed, with Driskell and Commissioner Carl Cannon voting to have it removed and McDaniel and commissioners Sam Cole and Thomas Collard voting for it.

Additionally, funds for equipment purchases for Road Precincts 2 and 4 were removed, as those commissioners — Cole and Collard — were to be replaced in January. Incoming commissioners Carl Wiseman and David Pohorelsky were not present at the hearing.

The county will continue to discuss budget matters during August meetings.

In other business, the county:

•renewed a contract with Graves Humphries Stahl LTD for collection services performed for the Justices of the Peace. The contract had expired in 2013;

•approved taking $10,000 from the county’s contingency fund to replace a freezer unit at the county jail;

•approved the appointment of election judges and alternates for the 2018-19 election cycle;

•approved seeking bids for a replacement county engineer;

•approved a memorandum of understanding with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service for IT services; and

•approved seeking bids for services related to disaster recovery.

The county will meet in special session at 9:30 a.m. Thursday to discuss extending a burn ban as well as payment for an emergency water leak repair at J.R. Parten Elementary School.

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