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Budget talks begin for county

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader

 

Orange County Commissioners Court is reaching out to department heads and employees for suggestions on how to adjust expenditures.

“In light of the expenditures for the Montano case, we thought we would start the conversations now,” County Judge Stephen Brint Carlton said on Thursday.

Carlton said the only places to cut are salaries, operating expenses, personal or benefits.

“We have three options,” Carlton said. “We can do nothing, raise taxes or make changes in expenditures.”

Carlton later clarified do nothing means to not change anything at this time.

The funds used to pay the $3.6 million settlement was paid from the contingency or ‘rainy day’ funds.

“We could spend less or have more revenue,” Carlton said. “Right now we are behind on sales tax revenues and we are flat on property tax.”

Most departments within the county are currently have 52 percent of their 2016/2017 budget remaining.

A second meeting to discuss options will be at the Public Workshop at 1 p.m. Tuesday March 14 in the Commissioners Courtroom of the Orange County Administration Building located at 123 South 6th Street in Orange.