County plans budget presentations

By Lindsey Vaculin

General Manager


Milam County Commissioners Court set dates and times for presentations of the county budget as well as approved a tax rate of 70 cents during its meeting on Aug. 14.

Judge David Barkemeyer will once again do detailed presentations with time to discuss and allow public comments about the county budget. These sessions will begin at 6:30 p.m. as follows: Cameron, Aug. 21, at the Courthouse; Thorndale, Aug. 22, at the Chamber of Commerce Conference Room; Buckholts, Aug. 23, at the Community Center; Rockdale, Aug. 24 at the One Stop Center; and Milano, Aug. 29 at the Fire Station.

Barkemeyer said this year’s budget will raise less money from property taxes this year than last year. This year’s revenue from property taxes will be $579,298 which is a 5 percent decrease from last year’s budget. The property tax revenue to be raised from new property added to the tax rolls this year will be $113, 931. Commissioners will approved the budget on Sept. 11.

Barkemeyer noted that there has been an ad valorem tax decline in the county since 2011 when he took office. In 2011 the county collected $11.221 million. In 2018 the county will collect $11.187 million. 

Barkemeyer said the tax rate has gone up 10 cents since he has been judge because residents are paying taxes that used to be paid by someone else. He said minerals have gone down and the tax base has shifted to home owners and non-ag landowners and the budget has stayed the same.

The 2018 budget is $19,790,868 with reserves and $15,630,868 without reserves. Barkemeyer said he doesn’t expect the county to need to reach into reserves this year.

Commissioners also approved changes to Milam County Constables pay and vehicles. Constables in Precincts 3 and 4 regularly monitor traffic and write citations and provide assistance to other law enforcement and fire departments. Those doing these duties will receive $10,000 additional salary and a $5,000 travel allowance for maintenance. Fuel, major maintenance, tires, insurance and a roadworthy vehicle and accessories will be provided by the county.

The other constables who do not perform law enforcement duties will provide their own vehicle and receive a $15,000 travel allowance and no other reimbursement for vehicle expenses.

In other business the commissioners also: heard from Wayne Horkheimer during citizen’s comments; approved utility installation request from Southwest Milam Water Supply for placement on CR 325; appointed and swore in Dr. Sidney Richardson, MD, as the health authority for Milam County; appointed Robert Kirkpatrick as the local rabies control authority for the county; got introduced to John Roy and Samuel Thomas as on-site sewer facility programmers for the county; heard a budget presentation from Michelle Poston for the CSCD; approved sale of equipment and vehicles by Precinct 1; approved purchase of tractor by Precinct 1; approved sale of dozer by Precinct 2; and approved resolution authorizing county grant to Hill County Community Action Association for home delivered meals in Milam County.