GATESVILLE – Tasked with closing a $1.3 million budget gap to avoid either a tax increase or a shortfall in the reserve fund, Coryell County commissioners approved more spending than they cut during a budget workshop here Monday.
“We didn’t help ourselves much,” Commissioner Jack Wall said.
The commissioners informally agreed to add $81,000 to the 2014 budget to create a county human resources department. The sum includes a $48,000 salary for an HR manager plus benefits and office space, said County Auditor Ben Roberts.
Commissioners also gave tacit support to adding a prosecutor to the 52nd District Attorney’s office at a cost of about $64,000 and providing about $33,000 for a visiting judge and additional court reporter to help move more cases through the district court.
The commissioners’ court was split over whether to approve about $130,000 to add two patrol deputies to the county sheriff’s department or allocate $50,000 to the sheriff to provide security for the county courthouse.
Commissioner Daren Moore argued for the courthouse security over the deputies, but found himself alone on the court.
Wall voiced support for hiring the patrol deputies, and Commissioner Don Jones agreed after having first suggested hiring just one deputy.
Commissioner Justin Latham did not express support for the security spending and said he would like to see the line item for the new deputies cut from the budget.