Lubbock City and County Officials Open the Lines of Communication - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/19/02

Lubbock City and County Officials Open the Lines of Communication

We told you a couple of weeks ago how Lubbock city and county officials could not come to an understanding on who pays for what program and how much each should dish out. The programs on the table are library use, fire protection, cemetery plots, animal service, vector control, Star Program, an 800 megahertz Radio System, restaurant inspections; these are either services the county and city are jointly involved in, or services the city charged the county to use.

Monday's meeting was set to discuss these various programs and whether these costs need to be re-evaluated. Right now, the county feels they are paying their end of the bargain, but the city doesn't feel that way. City Councilman Victor Hernandez says he thinks it is because of the county's low tax base, "I think the reason why they have their hands tied behind their backs because of the tax rate they have established over a number of years. I think the county has dug a hole for themselves and are having a difficult time climbing out of that hole," said Hernandez.

"No, I don't think it's put us in a hole. We put $2.9 million in reserves, so it's hard to explain to a tax payer how we would increase their taxes when they realize it was such a big deal putting $2.9 million in reserves, so yes we are using some of the those reserves to fund this upcoming budget," said Patti Jones, County Commissioner.

Both the city and the county agree the county jail's issues need to be taken care of, and because of that, the city will continue operating their holding facility. The city did talk about getting out of that business to save the city $500,000, but that would put more of a burden on the county.

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