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New Mexico: County saving $$$ after firing Cornell.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
County has $1 million more than expected
Jane Moorman News-Bulletin Staff Writer;

The county administration's efforts to improve its financial status are paying off.
County Manager Mike Trujillo told the Valencia County Commission, during a special meeting Friday that it will begin the 2005-06 budget with a million dollars more than his staff had expected while designing the preliminary budget.
"The additional cash balance from 2004-05 is at an excess of what we expected," Trujillo said of the $2,962,078, which is the largest cash balance since 2001 when the county began experiencing financial problems.
The county administration planned the 2005-06 budget expecting $1.9 million remaining from the fiscal year that ended June 30.
"This additional funds will allow us to address several additional issues," Trujillo said. "It will allow us to be better prepared for additional operating costs associated with the new Belen Public Health office and the judicial complex, as well as operations at the Conejo Transfer Station."
The county is submitting a $11,336,885 general fund budget in its final 2005-06 budget of $31.2 million.
With the improved beginning cash balance, the budget submitted to the State Department of Finance Administration is projecting that the county will finish the year with $2.03 million in addition to the required 3/12 reserve funds of $1.79 million.
"We're doing wonderful things with what I still consider to be a deficit budget," Trujillo said of the budget that gives employees raises and puts additional money into the road maintenance fund, as well as resolving a citation from the Environmental Protection Agency regarding the closure of the old county dump.
Trujillo attributes three things delinquent tax collection, managing the adult detention center and a new one-sixth of 1 percent gross receipts tax for improving the county's projected cash balance.
"Our treasurer's office efforts to collect delinquent taxes has generated $870,000 for the county out of the $3 million they have collected," he said. "We expect the effort to continue with help from the state property tax division."
The administration is expecting a saving of at least $600,000 from the cost of operating the adult detention center.
The county took over operation of the adult detention center Jan. 1, 2004, and was able to finish out the fiscal year at less than the budgeted costs of the private management contract.
However, Trujillo expects to see a greater saving this fiscal year.
"We expect our cost to be $2,656,366 this year compared to the contract with Cornell Corrections Inc., which was $3.26 million," Trujillo said.
Finally, the county expects additional revenue from the gross receipts tax.
Trujillo estimates that the one-sixth of 1 percent tax, which went into effect on July 1, will generate an additional $255,000. The county will see the real impact of this tax beginning in September.

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