Somervell County Commissioners discussed the 2009-10 fiscal year budget,which will be adopted next month, at a special meeting on Monday, Aug. 3.

The proposed budget has several increases from 2008-09, including additional funding to the library for book purchases, a portable floor for the senior center and an increase in postage for the tax assessor-collector's office.

"The postage is not something I can control at all," said Somervell County tax assessor-collector Darlene Chambers.

The commissioners requested additional information on several items, which

fall under capital expenditures.

County Judge Walter Maynard proposed cutting some capital improvements this

year, lowering the amount for improvements to $248,400.

"I cut some out on stuff I thought could wait," he said.

Maynard said approximately $700,000 would carry over in capital expenditures

from the 2008-09 budget, with a projected amount of roughly $500,000 from

taxes also being placed in that fund, bringing the total for capital

expenditures to $1.2 million. He suggested allocating $248,400 for

improvements and $628,000 for equipment.

Projects placed on hold could include the citizen's center roof and an

additional brush truck for the Somervell County Volunteer Fire Department.

Departments that would receive monetary funding for improvements and

equipment would include the library, Texas Ampitheater, Expo Center,

Courthouse Annex, old courthouse and Somervell County Sheriff's Department.

Maynard also discussed providing funds to Glen Rose Medical Center. A

hospital district was on the ballots during May, but did not pass, leaving

the county to assist in its funding.

"This is not the case of bad management - it's just the economy," Maynard

said. "Our hospital is no different shape than the rest of them."

With the proposed budget, approximately $700,000 is allocated for the

hospital from the general fund.

Maynard said it is important to remember that this version of the budget is

only a proposal. The actual budget will be approved in September and the

commissioners are expecting to hold two public meetings prior to approving

it.

The county is required to hold two meetings if the rollback tax rate

increases. Under the proposed budget, the rollback rate would increase

approximately 1.64 cents per year, which equals to a $16.40 increase per

year on a $100,000 home.

Commissioners will continue to discuss the budget at meetings over the

coming weeks.