Ector County commissioners today will consult department heads about the 2021-22 budget and make long-range plans for the brightening post-pandemic age.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Mike Gardner said Monday that increased economic activity this spring and possibly for the rest of fiscal 2020-21 may mean there will be money for employees’ raises and infrastructure improvements next year.
Gardner said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s early April denial of the City of Odessa’s bid to snag some of the county’s revenues from its new rural sales tax had bolstered his optimism. “Things will always be tight,” he said.
“Mainly, we will have everybody get their costs together and see what we’re looking at. My property valuation is up 8 percent, so even if we don’t raise the tax rate at all, we will still have an increase. The sales tax is going along pretty well and my thought is that next year’s economy will be pretty good.”
The commissioners budgeted for $12 million in sales tax revenues for the fiscal year that began last Oct. 1 after collecting $17.5 million during 2019-20, but they have said recently that the total may end up exceeding $14 million this year.
The county’s current property tax rate is 36.9 cents per $100 in valuation.
In other business in the 10 a.m. meeting at the 1010 E. Eighth St. administration building, the court will hear Texas Department of Transportation spokesman Gene Powell’s report on a TxDOT survey of Loop 338 and its road construction plans in the county.
The court will also:
>> Hear a presentation by Ector County Utility District President Tommy Ervin, who cut the ribbon May 20 on a desalination system at 5016 Johnson Road, in West Odessa that will remove pollutants from oilfield water.
>> Consider appointing Precinct 3 Commissioner Don Stringer to the airport board that sets policy for Odessa-Schleymeyer Field operations.
>> Consider a contract for the Austin law firm of Bickerstaff, Heath, Delgado and Acosta to start the process of political redistricting based on last year’s Census.
>> Discuss extending the county health department’s contract with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso to Aug. 31, 2023.
>> Consider a ground lease contract between the airport and the Patterson Rosedale Highway Co. of Bakersfield, Calif.
>> Discuss contracts for the county clerk’s office with the Tyler Technologies Eagle Division of Plano for software services and Kofile Technologies of Dallas for the digitization of documents.
>> Hear Human Resources Director Donna James’ proposal to hold a service awards luncheon that was postponed in February.
>> Consider hiring a temporary clerical and data entry employee for James’s office.