Houston County Commissioners Discuss Budget

By: Vanessa Araiza Email
By: Vanessa Araiza Email

Houston County jail is one of the many county-operated facilities having to crack down on spending.

“Given the current financial situation with Houston County we have been asked to scale back our operating budget by ten percent," said Keith Reed, Houston County Jail Commander.

Reed says a tight budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal year is cutting operations like the jail's training program by two thirds.

"We're not the lone ranger here, it's a county wide situation," explained Reed.

During Thursday’s budget proposal meeting, the commission learned they will have almost 3 million dollars less to play with this year.

Houston County Chairman Mark Culver credits that to the sluggish economy.

"The economy has created a downturn for us, it has cost us to have to make significant cuts and you know we just have to be able to balance those cuts," said Culver.

Culver says if spending stays the same as last year, the county will be 1.6 million dollars in debt.

To offset more loss overtime is being cut and replaced with comp days.

But that change could cause problems.

Culver said, "At sometime when you continue to cut, response to you know, a piping in your driveway or something, may take three days instead of one day."

Other needs in the county, like purchasing new county commission vehicles and upgrading the telephone system are being put on hold.

The budget will be on the county commission agenda next Thursday.

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