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County audit yields positive results

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By LPR Staff
Editor/ POST-REGISTER

Brief discussion of Caldwell County’s annual audit yielded good news during the regular meeting of the Caldwell County Commissioners Court on Monday.
Though the auditor expressed concern about some bookkeeping practices within County offices, the cumulative result of the audit shows Caldwell County ahead of the curve

financially.
According to County Auditor Sonny Rougeou, the audit revealed an increase in revenue of some $800,000, along with expenditures that came nearly $400,000 under budget, putting the County in a favorable position as the budget cycle for Fiscal Year 2008-2009 begins. He also reported the auditor was concerned, not with the amount of money being collected, but how that money is being receipted.
Concerns raised centered around the Sheriff’s Office and the Constables’ Offices, specifically with regard to the collection of bond fees and service fees. Although all fees are receipted properly and accounted for, the auditor suggested the process should be streamlined, with the Constables handling more receipting.
Rougeou said the way the Constables and Sheriff’s Office handle the receipting is perfectly legal, and a change might cause problems for attorneys and bail-bondsmen who are familiar with the current procedures.
Though the Commissioners expressed concern about issues raised by the audit, Rougeou assured them most of the concerns had already been addressed and were in the process of being remedied.
In brief news:
The Commissioners approved a contract with Banner Landscaper Plus of Lockhart to provide weed and pest maintenance to the Courthouse Lawn. Banner will not provide mowing services, but Sheriff Daniel Law announced a deputy was in the process of being certified to supervise inmate labor, and such labor could contribute to lawn maintenance in the near future.
They considered adding a staff position at the Jail Commissary. Because of the increase in Commissary business, Law told the Court the increase was necessary, and would be paid for with funds generated at the Commissary.
The Court welcomed a new County Extension Agent for Agriculture and Natural Resources. Jeffrey Watts, a graduate of Luling High School and Texas A&M University, was chosen by the Texas AgriLife Extension to fill the position vacated by Rachel Bauer earlier this month.
The County paid bills in the amount of $91,094.23, which includes $475 in indigent legal defense.
The Caldwell County Commissioners Court meets on the second, third and fourth Monday of each month at 9 a.m. in Room 100 of the Caldwell County Courthouse.

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