(Orange, Texas)

September 21, 2013

Last look at county budget

Dawn Burleigh
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — Last chance to make changes to the Orange County 2013-2014 budget.

Commissioners Court will meet 10 a.m. Monday to discuss the projected revenues and expenditures of the budget.

The county is facing a deficit due to funds expected from FEMA have yet to pay the county.

“A budget is a road map of how to proceed for the year,” County Auditor Mary Johnson said during a budget workshop on Wednesday. “$2.8 million is still owed. I cannot put that in the budget unless I am reasonable certain we will receive it. I do not have that certainty at this time.”

The county had included those funds in the previous two years budgets, contributing to the current deficit the county is facing as it plans to adopt the budget on Monday.

Johnson said the budget is based on projected numbers.

“A budget projects what you believe you will need,” Johnson said. “Not actual funds.”

Johnson also said the court adopted a deficit budget last year.

“It included $1.2 million in FEMA money,” Johnson said. “We did not collect a penny of it.”

Johnson also said if the county had the funds on hand, it would not have had to borrow funds last year.

The county is projected to have $372,762.90 ending cash as of Sept. 31 which takes into consideration the Oct. 2 payroll.

Payroll for the county is approximately $1 million a pay period.