Revenues are up and expenses are down.
That was the good news from James Young, county auditor for Erath County during Monday’s Commissioners’ Court meeting.
Young gave an end of fiscal year report for 2006 and said, “The County is in a very good financial position, which is good with all the road expenditures and jail issues coming up.
“I’m very proud of the position that we’re in,” Young said. “We’ll probably not pay cash money for the jail. But you know what? We could if we wanted to.”
The fact that revenues are up and expenses are down is because of good sound management that is “unusual for a government,” Young said.
Young said Erath County is debt free.
Roads were a major concern at the meeting with State Representative Sid Miller and David B. Lebsack, Texas Department of Public Safety regional liaison officer in the Governor’s Division of Emergency Management, and Bob Grieve, FEMA disaster assistance representative, in attendance. Each commissioner gave a report of his precinct’s road conditions. Randy Lowe’s’ district was hardest hit because of sloping land in many areas of the precinct. Lowe said he has contacted a firm from Arlington to help with bridge inspections and even though all bridges are now open he fully expects to receive a list of those that will have to close.
Lowe said there are five conservation lakes in his area and there is extensive damage below them. He gave an example of a one-mile stretch of road under a foot to a foot and a half of water for 12 days.
“Those areas are going to be very expensive,” Lowe said.
Every commissioner spoke of the base material for the roads being washed away, along with culverts.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Jerry Martin said he lost a major bridge and four or five more are presently closed. On Sunday, the area South of Alexander received four inches of rain, Martin said. He said he had people stranded “right now” unable to get to their homes. Martin said the water on one road was four-feet deep on a one-half mile stretch.
Grieve told commissioners that it was important that they distinguish between emergency expenses such as those generated from an emergency response and permanent expenses which are broken out into road damage.
Both Grieve and Lebsack were scheduled to meet with commissioners after court to get an estimate of damages.
Miller asked that the commissioners work quickly to help Grieve and Lebsack “because they need to get their information as rapidly as possible and got on to the next project.”