Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Starr County Judge Eloy Vera Hosts Budget Workshop

 Starr County Judge Eloy Vera, Commissioners Court and county department heads recently met for a budget workshop. Budget workshops are held to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to discuss the needs for the successful operation of each different department. The Budget Fiscal Year begins October 1, 2012 and everyone is working together in order to prepare for the new year. The county has been able to maintain a healthy fund balance amidst severe loss of revenues due in part to declining natural gas prices. The price of natural gas went from about $14.00 per mcf a few years back to about $2.00 mcf now, therefore creating a loss of about $2.6 million in revenues in the last two (2) years.

"We will do anything within our power to ensure that there is no loss of employment due to this situation" said Starr County Judge Eloy Vera.  All of the employees count on their jobs to support their families and that is of utmost importance to me. Judge Vera urged everyone to make necessary adjustments in their budgets and cut any unnecessary costs in order to maintain staff employment intact. The county operates many federal fund grants that work on cost reimbursement basis. The budget is expected to be solvent by November of 2012 which is when all reimbursement revenues are received for the fiscal year. Federal grants are extremely important to the community because the money comes straight from funds outside the county coffers and aids with expenses that would not be possible with only local funds. The county is expected to be in good financial standing and will be operating successfully even with all of its losses in revenue due to the recessions in the economy. Some changes will have to be made and belts will be tightened, but everyone employed can rest assured that there will be no cuts. "We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but working together we can make it happen" said Judge Vera. (County of Starr Public Relations Office).

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