County approves 3% tax hike
By LPR Staff
In a regular meeting on Monday morning, the Caldwell County Commissioners approved a 3 percent tax increase for the coming fiscal year.
The total tax rate, 0.6297 per $100 of valuation, includes an increase in maintenance and operations taxes, but a decrease in Farm-To-Market rates. The rate was required to fund the coun
ty”s projected budget of $12.47 million.
According to commissioners and county auditor Sonny Rougeou, the budget contains little, if any, additional expense, and only $50,000 in “contingency money.”
The budget will, however, allow for a small cost-of-living pay increase for county employees.
The commissioners also discussed a resolution offering their support to the Capital Area Rural Transportation Planning Organization”s (CARTPO) request to the Texas Department of Transportation to widen Highway 21.
Suggestions have been offered to widen the stretch of Highway 21 between Highway 80 in Hays County and US 183 in Caldwell County, making it a four-lane roadway. The resolution, passed unanimously by the Court, supports the project, claiming that Highway 21 is dangerous because of the volume and speed of traffic traveling the stretch from Mustang Ridge to San Marcos.
According to County Judge HT Wright, CARTPO has, in the past, had a certain degree of success working with the Department of Transportation to secure road work in rural areas.
In other county business:
The commissioners discussed the outdoor burning ban currently in effect in Caldwell County. Despite threats of severe weather early last week, temperatures over the weekend continued to soar well over 100 degrees, with no end in sight. The Court agreed to leave the burn ban in place until the hot, dry weather breaks.
The Court also considered recommendations regarding the application of grant funds under a USDA Septic Tank installation project, a rental agreement regarding radio towers and several nominations to the Caldwell County Appraisal District board of directors.
Because of a lack of conclusive information and inadequate time to review the recommendations thoroughly, the court agreed to table each of the three items, and reintroduce them at a later date.
Unit Road Manager Bill Alexander reported that construction is underway – and in fact, ahead of schedule – on the road repairs being funded by a FEMA grant the county received early this year. Alexander said that gravel-hauling on the project, which will repair more than 100 roads damaged in last fall”s flooding events, is three days ahead of schedule.