County continues work on new financial package

Howard County commissioners will continue to fine-tune their FY 2012-2013 budget when they hold their regular meeting at 10 a.m. Monday on the third floor of the county courthouse.Commissioners have already given a tentative OK to a new tax rate of 33 cents per $100 valuation, a decrease of more than 10 cents from the previous rate. However, because of a sharp increase in the county’s property valuations, the new rate will bring in more tax revenue this year, County Auditor Jackie Olson said.The extra money will be needed this year, officials said, because of deteriorating roads in outlying portions of the county.“We’ve got some roads, particularly in the northwest part of the county, that because of heavy oilfield traffic are just about totally broken up,” County Judge Barr said last week. “So we felt we had to do something to repair them … and, unfortunately, that takes a lot of money. We have to maintain the county’s roads, and things aren’t getting any cheaper in that area.”Barr said the county road and bridge department will receive a $500,000 boost to its budget to facilitate road repair, and it’s possible even more more could be funneled to the department before the budget is formally adopted.Commissioners also are planning to give non-elected employees a $1,000 annual raise.Also Monday, commissioners will consider:• Renewal of the delinquent tax collection contract with Mouton and Mouton.• Review of the county’s indigent burial policy and 2013 optional county fees.• Approval of the 911 district’s budget.• Server issues at the tax assessor/appraiser’s office.• Personnel matters.• Monthly reports.Contact Staff Writer Steve Reagan at 263-7331 ext. 235 or by e-mail at