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County increases projected revenues for 2015

Hidalgo-County-SealProjected revenues for 2015 were increased from $172 million to $176 million in the third budget workshop held by Hidalgo County Commissioners Court.

At the same time, Budget Director Sergio Cruz decreased the projected shortfall from $16 million to a projected shortfall of only $35,548. At the last workshop, Cruz suggested reducing operating expenditures, the amount of money set aside for indigent health care and COPS grant employees to save $9 million.

Wednesday, Cruz found $7.5 million in additional revenues to cut the shortfall even more. Additional revenues include $2 million for the sanitation permit, $500,000 from a land sale, $2 million from salary savings, and $1 million each from third party collection, lapsed operating expenditures and additional revenue.

The 2015 budget started out at nearly $193 million, $4 million more than last year because of the $1 million contribution for the medical school, $2 million less in debt service, $774,000 for a countywide communication system and another $749,000 in miscellaneous increases.

The funds for the 1115 Waiver reduction were set at $2,438,864. Cruz said the amount budgeted was $5.5 million. Based on the state multiplier funds (estimated at 1.384), the county would receive an additional $7,696,612 in funds for a total of $13,257,747 in funds for indigent health care, which Cruz said should be sufficient. He said the adjusted gross revenue tax levy increased in amount due in 2015 from $12,784,713 by 3.7 percent to $13,257,747.

The COPS grant included 11 Deputy Sheriff Step I positions at $430,540 and two Deputy Sheriff Step II positions at $81,020. While salaries amounted to $511,560 other allowances were $10,980. Health insurance was $76,822 while life insurance was $488 and fringe benefits were $144,959 for a total projected budget impact reduction of $714,809.

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