Daytime workers get their shot at county budget

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Commissioners to present plan during evening meeting

Denton County residents will get an evening look at the 2015 budget and tax rate.

As part of the annual budget process, commissioners will hold a public hearing Tuesday night, when the county’s budget presentation will be repeated. The first presentation was given July 22.

The meeting, which will begin at 7 p.m. in the Commissioners Courtroom on the second floor of the Courthouse on the Square, is a way for officials to make sure the public has ample opportunity to see the budget and make their feelings on it known.

“Not everyone can come during business hours, and we certainly understand that and make it a point to do one public hearing during the day and one during evening hours,” County Judge Mary Horn said.

Horn said it will be a regular Commissioners Court meeting, so regular business will be conducted. The agenda includes items in human resources, the Office of History and Culture and the Vehicle Assessment Committee.

The budget presentation will be given by Donna Stewart, budget officer for the county. She has recommended a $238.3 million budget, an increase of $14.2 million over the current budget. Even with the increase, early calculations have put the proposed tax rate at 28.3 cents per $100 property valuation — about one-fifth of a penny less than the current tax rate of 28.49 cents per $100 valuation.

County officials, including Horn, are optimistic that will be the approved rate.

Horn noted that while not a lot of people have attended the meetings, they still relay their concerns.

“If someone feels passionate about something, they usually will figure out another way to contact us,” she said. “Just because you hold an evening meeting doesn’t mean they are available in the evening as well, but it is an attempt to accommodate.”

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.

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