Uvalde County Commissioners formally adopted the 2021-2022 budget Monday, balanced at approximately $38.4 million, over $6 million more than last year’s approved budget.
No members of the public spoke at the public hearing held at the Uvalde County Courthouse before the budget was adopted.
The adopted budget is based on a proposed tax rate of 74 cents per $100 valuation, the same aggregate rate as last year. The tax rate has not yet been approved, and it is expected to be formally adopted Sept. 27, after a public hearing regarding the rate is held.
The budget is balanced at $38,369,598, and the 2021-2022 fiscal year starts Oct. 1 and runs through Sept. 30, 2022. The budget includes approximately $5.2 million from the federal American Rescue Plan grant, with over $2.5 million of that allocation received this fiscal year and about the same amount expected for the upcoming fiscal year. The budget estimates $18,822,835 in revenue and expenditures for the general fund. The county estimates they will collect approximately $10,191,878 in general tax revenues.
The 2020-2021 budget was originally set at approximately $32.2 million in income and expenses. It was later amended to call for about $35,519,842 in income and $35,776,955 million in expenses.
Currently, income totals are $33,448,216 and expenses are $28,379,755.
The 2021-2022 salary fund, also approved at the Monday meeting, increased by 5 percent from last year. The increase was due to a 2.5 percent per year cost of living increase for the two-year span for county employees.
The 2021-2022 salary fund is set at $1,255,291, up from the 2020-2021 amount of $1,195,515. Allowances, retirement and social security and medicare tax adjustments accompanying the salary raises add an additional $266,190.
The budget includes $3,780,394 in income and expenses for the road and bridge fund. In the current, 2020-2021 fiscal year, about $3,594,000 was initially budgeted for the road and bridge fund, which was then amended to about $3,424,000 in income and $3,470,000 in expenses. So far, actual income for this fund reflects $3,033,485 and expenses $2,926,026.
The 2021-2022 budget shows allocations to local and area fire departments remaining static from last year, including: Uvalde Volunteer Fire Department receiving $15,000; Sabinal, $8,100; Concan, $7,500; Utopia, $7,000; Knippa, $5,600; and Reagan Wells, $4,000.
It also allots $3,500 to the Sabinal Library, $8,500 to the Utopia Library and $127,000 to El Progreso Memorial Library of Uvalde, all in the same amounts as those allocated this year.
Community resource allocations remained static, with The Humane Society of Uvalde set to receive $2,500; the Uvalde Food Pantry, $4,455; the Sabinal Senior Citizens Center, $1,500; the Uvalde-based Adult Activity Center, $7,500; and the Uvalde Area Development Foundation $10,000. All the listed amounts have been consistent since at least the 2017 fiscal year budget.
Though no ARP federal grant money has been distributed yet, Herby Ham Activity Center director Sue Rankin, Uvalde Food Pantry representative Tru Hiatt, and Humane Society of Uvalde/Flights to Furever representatives Kelley Kimble and Heather Stunkel have all recently addressed commissioners concerning the need for funding for their community programs.