Presidio County Officials Tackling Budget Problems

by Roma Vivas
NewsWest 9

PRESIDIO- County officials say they've had budget problems for a couple of years but right now things are out of control and they're trying to fix it.

High fuel costs, a bad national economy, and this fall's flooding created the perfect storm for budget problems in Presidio County.

"Before we knew it in July and August we were out of money so were living from pay day to pay day," Presidio County Judge Jerry Agan, said.

To make matters worse the county was depending on money they didn't have.

"Presidio is a poor County, it's a poor border county, we're living a little bit too much on surpluses that were in the budget, and because we ran out of those we did not have enough money to pay our bills for a while,"   Presidio County District Attorney Rod Ponton, said.

County officials are brainstorming for solutions after several phones lines in their offices were turned off.

"What we've done is change the calendar year to the fiscal year so our year next year will be a nine month year, of course we had to raise property taxes, which we did," Agan said.

And after slashing the budget by nearly 30 percent the D.A. is confident they'll pull through.

"Presidio County is doing better, we've got our hands around the finances and we are taking care of things, it's just going to be a hard year, sort of a linear tight belt where everyone spends less money," Ponton said.

Officials also say they've cut back on traveling expenses and office supplies to help keep costs down.