“We’ve made major cuts everywhere we can, but we still have to be able to provide services,” says Freestone County Judge, Linda Grant. “I don’t know where else to get the money from.”
This comment was made at the August 8, 2017 special called Commissioners Court Meeting during budget talks.
At that point in the budget making process, the County was shown at $200K in the negative in the General Fund if they were to move forward with the proposed budget as it currently sits.
In addition to this sobering news, the cost for the recent requests by Sheriff Jeremy Shipley for two new employees and four law enforcement vehicles has yet to be added to the budget, which would put the General Fund further into the negative.
As if that is not enough, two more FCSO units are out of commission, making the need for a total of six vehicles.
Commissioners will hold one more special meeting to work on the budget before voting to finalize it on Wednesday, August 16th.
During the regular agenda discussions, County Attorney Brian Evans spoke to Commissioners about receiving grant money from the Attorney General to employ a Victim Coordinator and Liaison for a one year term. The State requires the services be provided by law and Evans applied for the grant in attempt to save the County some money.
Details of the position, such as if it will be part-time or full-time, salary, and benefits, are yet to be worked out, but Commissioners voted unanimously to accept the grant.
Employees who qualify for Medicare will now be able to use the insurance allowance to pay for their supplemental plan. These employees are not required to take the Medicare plan, but choosing to do so, and to opt out of the regular medical insurance will, save both the employee and the County a significant amount of money.
Regularly scheduled meetings are held on the first and third Wednesday of each month beginning at 9:00 a.m. All are encouraged to attend.