Thursday, April 16, 2009


At their regular monthly meeting on Monday morning, April 13, the County Commissioners received reports on the financial performances of several departments during March.
Tax Assessor/Collector Carmen A. Pena indicated that collections of both current taxes and delinquent taxes showed significant increases in March 2009 compared to the March 2008 figures.
Pena reported that the grand total collected for March 2009 was $751,560.92. The county’s share for the current year, including County and FM/FC entities only, was $293,960.23. The county’s share for delinquent years, including County and FM/FC only, was $178,080.55.
Sheriff Rene Fuentes told the commissioners that Detention Center revenues for March amounted to $108,823.87, with $99,648 coming from the U.S. Marshals Service. On Monday, April 13, there were 79 federal inmates and 107 county inmates for an overall count of 186 inmates.
County Judge Eloy Vera commented, “We should be in good shape as far as our yearly projection is concerned. Have we paid off the jail?” County Auditor Rosalinda G. Guerra answered, “The jail was paid off as of Dec. 31, 2008.”
The commissioners were told that International Bridge revenues for March 2009 totaled $236,701, an increase of $19,985 from the March 2008 figure of $216,716. The March 2009 total showed an increase of $22,541 from the February 2009 amount of $214,160.
After brief discussion, the commissioners approved the South Texas College collection fee contract of $87,886 for the 2009 taxable year. Pena declared, “STC presented it to their board. They wanted to know if it is the same amount as the past two years. It is the same amount.”
The commissioners considered the matter of approving a List of Registered Voters printing fee. Elections Administrator Rafael Montalvo explained, “We’re starting to experience a lot of costs for ink and paper. We’re asking for a small additional charge.”
Judge Vera asked, “Would a nickel per page be sufficient? We can consider putting it on the agenda next Monday.”
The commissioners then approved a printing fee of a nickel per page and $10 per cover. Vera indicated that this applies to other government entities and to any individual who may ask to have a registered voters list printed. He noted that candidates for office frequently ask for such lists.
The commissioners voted to approve a resolution to submit an application to the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) for the 2008 Home Program-Owner Occupied Housing Assistance Program for Starr County residents affected by the flooding disaster of Aug. 18, 2008.
Montalvo explained, “This will probably be based on total reconstruction. This is the same flood zone as before. It’s best to provide at least some protection from future flooding events. The past assistance will hurt the chances for this application. I don’t think the application’s chances are real good.”
The commissioners approved the submission of an application for Workforce Solutions-Supportive Employment and Vocational Training Services. Vera commented, “I think this program has been very beneficial.” Precinct Three Commissioner Eloy Garza emphasized, “I think this approach, with substantial training, is the best.”

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