The budget for next year was approved by the Commissioners Court Tuesday. The budget for fiscal year 2021 to 2022 will raise less revenue from property taxes than last year’s budget.
The Court previously approved two weeks ago the tax rate of $0.542 per $100 valuation for tax year 2022. The approved $60 million budget is very thin according to County Judge John Gothia with no funds allocated for capital expenditures.
Gothia expects Orange County to have a surplus of only $551,296 until the county begins to receive funds from FEMA to repay the county for its recovery from Hurricane Laura in 2020. FEMA should reimburse the county 75 percent of the $15 million spent on the recovery or about $11 million during the coming fiscal year.
Emergency Management Coordinator Joel Ardoin gave the numbers of the Coronavirus for the county through Monday, September 13, as 404 active cases with 88 confirmed and 316 probable. There were 69 cases of individuals being hospitalized with 19 of them requiring the use of ventilators.
The Commissioners approved contracting with i3-Bearcat which uses Graves Humphries Stahl to handle the collection of delinquent court fines, fees, costs, restitution, and debts owed Orange County. The Court authorized them to collect the maximum allowed under state statues.
Airport Supervisor Missy Pillsbury was appointed the authorized signer for the 2022 Routing Airport Maintenance Program or RAMP. The Texas Department of Transportation’s Aviation Division no longer requires the county to submit a hard copy of the RAMP grant.
Pillsbury as the authorized signer will submit grant requests electronically. This coming year’s grant was approved by the Commissioners Court with the county matching 50 percent of the actual costs plus and excess of $100,000.
The Bulk Prescription Drugs program for the Orange County Jail was renewed. This is the second of three renewals available under the current contract which Sheriff Lane Mooney is pleased with the service for his department.
The renewal of the mowing services by Lightfoot Enterprises for various Orange County properties was approved. This second of three renewals under the contract included no price changes.