Commission flooded with new funding requestsPublished 7:34pm Monday, July 22, 2013
As the Dallas County Commission reviews an overwhelming number of funding requests for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, Dallas County Probate Judge Kim Ballard said the commission might be stretched thin.
In Monday’s regular meeting, the commission heard a request from the Fourth Judicial Drug Task Force for $40,000. The task force covers five counties — Dallas, Bibb, Hale, Perry and Wilcox — and works under the authority of the district attorney’s office.
“They have a legitimate need, there’s no doubt about that,” Ballard said. “However, it’s doubtful as to whether or not we can afford the full request of $40,000, but we’re going to do everything we can do make sure they remain as viable as possible.”
This request is one of many the commission has received in recent months, Ballard noted.
“We’ve gotten requests from people we’ve never funded before, and I think hard economic times brings that out,” he said. “I’ve probably dealt with 40 or 50 new requests already — and I’m talking some major money they’re asking for.”
In order to accommodate a high volume of needs within the county, Ballard said the commission is considering leveling funding from last year’s budget with little consideration to new requests. A level budget means awarding the same amount of funding from the previous year’s budget, Ballard explained.
“In some cases, we’ll be cutting funding based on needs,” he said.
And although the commission may be looking at a tight budget, Ballard said all requests will be reviewed and considered with county agencies taking top priority.
“Our core operation is the county, public safety, sheriff’s department, keeping the roads and infrastructure up and doing the things that we’re directly obligated to do,” Ballard said. “It’s a fair process. We spend many hours every year going over the budget requests, and we take them all seriously.”
The commission will meet Aug. 5 for budget reviews, and a final budget will be posted sometime in the beginning of September.