Montgomery County commissioners Aug. 22 pushed back discussions on a potential bond issue as well as a cooperative funding agreement with Montgomery County Public Health District as the Sept. 1 budget deadline approaches.

What you need to know

During budget workshops Aug. 8-10, commissioners discussed the need for an infrastructure bond measure within the next year to address rising capital improvement needs, which commissioners said they could not budget for without increasing the tax rate. By separating capital improvements from the rest of the budget, the court was able to adopt a $328.94 million budget with a tax rate of $0.3696 per $100 of home valuation at an Aug. 10 meeting.

While initial discussions prompted the idea of holding a bond referendum as soon as Nov. 7, the deadline to do so passed Aug. 21.

The county is also facing issues surrounding the funding contract for the local public health district for which the federal waiver expired over a year ago. According to Assistant County Attorney Amy Dunham, a new agreement between the entities would allow the MCPHD to continue services that include clinical services, epidemiology, Medical Reserve Corps and emergency preparedness.

However, as the agreement was not prepared on time, commissioners requested to bring it back to the special court session Aug. 30. Officials said this will ensure a new agreement between MCPHD and the county is reached before the new budget cycle begins in order to prevent a lapse in services.

What’s next

A special session of Commissioners Court is scheduled for Aug. 30 to approve the fiscal year 2023-24 preliminary budget and tax rate.

As for a bond issue, county officials said they are awaiting professional input from bond counsel regarding potential packages and certificate of obligation options. The court unanimously moved the item to the Aug. 30 meeting.